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How do YOU cook chicken livers?

danhole Dec 18, 2007 10:35 AM

I love chicken livers, but I am the only one that does. I can get them at a chicken chain restaurant, but they always over cook them, and I like them to be a bit pink. But the batter is so good on them. I cannot duplicate it, so I dredge in flour and fry in a skillet with a bit of oil, but sometimes the breading doesn't stick so well. Another thing I do is just to cook them in a bit of butter with some seasonings, and sometimes a bit of onion, totally skipping the breading.

How do you prepare them?

  1. toodie jane Dec 18, 2007 10:37 AM

    in an iron skillet, in olive oil till med rare, wth a sprinkling of kosher salt. that's it!

    7 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane
      d
      dolores Dec 18, 2007 10:40 AM

      Back when my parents bought live chickens (ick), my mother put the feet in the gravy and fried up the chicken livers -- and gizzards, yum! -- in butter. We then smashed the livers and made our own version of liver pate with mayo and relish. I know, horrid, but we liked them.

      1. re: dolores
        danhole Dec 18, 2007 10:49 AM

        That sounds good to me! I like to smush them up and add either mayo or cream cheese and some green onions.

      2. re: toodie jane
        w
        wayne keyser Dec 18, 2007 09:17 PM

        I'm with Toodie Jane, except I add some garlic and sometimes I splash in some red wine and reduce it quickly.

        1. re: toodie jane
          Morganna Dec 19, 2007 05:08 AM

          yah, that's for me, too. Olive oil or butter. I think I need to buy some livers and gizzards at the store tomorrow now. :)

          1. re: Morganna
            chef chicklet Dec 21, 2007 07:40 AM

            Me too, this is killing me, I could eat them for breakfast.

            1. re: chef chicklet
              j
              jujuthomas Dec 21, 2007 09:55 AM

              LOL - I don't think I've ever craved chicken livers until this thread! now I'm trying to figure out how I can get some over the weekend at my mom's. hmmmm.... ;-) Happy Holidays y'all!

              1. re: jujuthomas
                chef chicklet Dec 21, 2007 10:19 AM

                You and me both.
                So it is claimed, that the strongest sense tied to memory is smell....I don't know if I'm wired differently but I can actually recall the slightly crispy and salt and pepper taste to the light "batter"my Dad made, and then that bite into the center, buttery, creamy and so full of flavor, juicy with a little garlic scent now hitting the nose...I'm getting some today.

        2. JungMann Dec 18, 2007 10:44 AM

          Sauteed with onions and a bit of thyme in either schmaltz or butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of brandy and top with chicken cracklings. Heaven on a cracker.

          37 Replies
          1. re: JungMann
            s
            Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 10:58 AM

            You lost me with the butter part. I do mine the way I think my mother did hers. Drain them and pick off the little gobs of fat. Dredge in some matzoh meal, maybe seasoned with salt and garlic. Then sautee with onions in either oil with a touch of chicken fat or all chicken fat. I may have to try the brandy thing...

            1. re: Shayna Madel
              t
              Tay Dec 18, 2007 11:20 AM

              If you dredge them in flour, you'll get a soother gravy which tastes dynomite on a pile of fresh mashed potatoes or flat egg noodles. A little sherry added to the onions works very well and once the alcohol evaps, leaves a nice complex taste

              1. re: Tay
                s
                Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 11:51 AM

                Yeah, sometimes Mom did do the dredge in flour thing and make a brown gravy with onions and do mashed potatoes. And in straight chicken fat. I forgot about the gravy version. Also good, but sometimes I am in the mood for the crunchy thing...

                1. re: Shayna Madel
                  danhole Dec 18, 2007 12:23 PM

                  Does the matzoh meal make them good and crunchy? I really do like a bit of crunch before I get into the creamy flesh of the chicken liver.

                  What about batters? I tried it once with a deep fat fryer (heart healthy - no!) but the batter separated as soon as they got in the oil!

                  And I remember the brown gravy thing over noodles. That was pretty good.

                  1. re: danhole
                    s
                    Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:25 PM

                    Well, not super crunchy, as it does not cling all over. I never did the batter thing. But, I have had fried chicken livers from a fried chicken place called Brothers, in Dallas, Tx and I think they had some batter. I do recall them having some crunch, so there must have been some batter. I will have to remember to have some when I go back to visit in May and will look at them more closely.

                    Mom did the brown gravy thing for an older cousin of hers/ours. It made him very happy.

            2. re: JungMann
              danhole Dec 18, 2007 11:13 AM

              JungMann,

              You made me look up schmaltz! Who knew, I'm such a Shiska (?) huh. Now what are chicken cracklings? And do you smash this up to get it on a cracker?

              1. re: danhole
                t
                Tay Dec 18, 2007 11:16 AM

                It's basically fried skin. There is no way you're smashing it up unless it's practically incinerated. It's more a 'topping' garnish sort of thing.

                1. re: Tay
                  danhole Dec 18, 2007 11:26 AM

                  No, what I meant is did he smash the chicken livers up, with the brandy. Hmmm, fried chicken skin - where do you get that? My DH would love to have some of that!

                  1. re: danhole
                    t
                    Tay Dec 18, 2007 11:43 AM

                    danhole
                    You are too funny!
                    You cut up chicken skin into strips and you deep fry it lolol!
                    As for the sherry. If you smash up the livers with too much liquid, you lose that rich pate texture, and it gets more 'grainy' so I'd say it depends on the type of texture you prefer If I want them to be cracker spreadable, I drain most of the liquid. If I'm sauteeing them to serve over mashed or egg noodles, I leave them whole or halved.

                    1. re: danhole
                      s
                      Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 11:48 AM

                      Well, here may be some helpful info. You can buy schmaltz, but it is somewhat pricey. Or, you can make your own. If you buy chicken necks and backs for soup, pick off the gobs of fat and save in the freezer until you accumulate a fair amount. Also, sometimes you can get it from whole chickens, or from leg quarters, when they still have the backs attached. Put the fat in a small pot, with some small pieces of onion and some salt. Throw in some of that excess skin you might trim off the chicken or that might be left on the backs, or that you can pull off the necks. Heat at a medium heat. Eventually, the fat will melt to a clear, yellow liquid and you will have the onion pieces and maybe cracklings floating around, but to get them crunchy, I think you may have to jack up the heat and you have to be careful not to burn the schmaltz. Tay--do you know how to pull off making it crunchy?

                      If you enter into the world of chopped liver making, you use the schmaltz to cook the livers in, and also onions and once the liver, onions and hard boiled eggs are all ground up, if it's sorta dry, you add more schmaltz.

                      I hear that defibrulator warming up as I type this...

                      1. re: Shayna Madel
                        f
                        foiegras Dec 19, 2007 07:36 AM

                        Rendering in an open skillet gets you crispy cracklings ...

                        JungMann was probably one of the chosen in a former life ;)

                        How I make chicken livers ... first I pick out the palest ones, rinse and trim, drain, salt, freshly cracked white pepper, cayenne, dredge in flour, fry in butter. Keep warm in the oven, and make cream gravy. Also good fried in bacon drippings instead of butter. Y'all have put me in the mood ...

                        1. re: Shayna Madel
                          t
                          Tay Dec 20, 2007 01:49 PM

                          Shanya Madel
                          I have one of those Fry Baby things and I use that to fast deep fry

                          1. re: Tay
                            s
                            Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 03:06 PM

                            Oh great, another piece of kitchen equipment I have to find room for in my under-sized apartment kitchen...

                            1. re: Shayna Madel
                              t
                              Tay Dec 20, 2007 04:21 PM

                              Shanya Madel
                              You crack me up!
                              It's just a little bit of a thing. It will fit into somethihng else.I actually use it alot. Much easier and more econimical than those jagunda fryers.

                        2. re: danhole
                          JungMann Dec 18, 2007 11:55 AM

                          Glad the shiksas (and goyim like myself -- hence the butter) can appreciate a little schmaltz. Chickens in NYC tend to be extremely fatty, so I save the trimmings and skin from chicken in the freezer until I have a produce bagful. I cut up the trimmings, fat and all, and toss into a hot pot. While the fat renders, it fries the skin, which gets crunchy -- though you do have to mind the pot as it does easily burn. I strain the fat into a separate container, reserve the cracklings on paper towels and use them to top the liver after I mash it. You can also fry the salted gribenes (enjoy that lexical tidbit) again in oil to get them crisper.

                          1. re: JungMann
                            h
                            howboy Dec 18, 2007 11:59 AM

                            I only cook this way if at least one of my guest knows CPR.
                            It's so delicious, and evocative of my youth...but the guilt! OY!

                            1. re: JungMann
                              s
                              Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 12:07 PM

                              Okay, goy is gentile. Goyim is plural. Shiksa is a female goy. Shegetz is a male goy. So, JungMann, it seems, if I am guessing your gender right, you are a shegetz. But I am impressed that you make your own schmaltz, or that you even knew the term, so maybe you are one of us, after all.

                              1. re: Shayna Madel
                                JungMann Dec 18, 2007 12:21 PM

                                My love of gefilte fish and whitefish salad is far stronger than most Jews I know, even though my ancestors came from lands not exactly on friendly terms with the IDF. In fact I had Fairway brisket for dinner last night! Your recommendations on my knish thread have certainly helped me appreciate the joys of fressing. Perhaps peace in the Middle East will come at the end of a coffee klatsch with a little nosh.

                                1. re: JungMann
                                  s
                                  Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:35 PM

                                  I try. Peace through food. I like the sound of that!

                              2. re: JungMann
                                danhole Dec 18, 2007 12:18 PM

                                So, now this is a cooking lesson/vocabulary lesson! I need to start saving the fats. I already save all excess parts of the chicken, and use the fat to get a good stock color and flavor, but I'm going to try your method and make some schmaltz. It's going to be hard to get the skin off the chicken to store in the freezer, because my DH will be crying off to the side! He loves that skin! But I'm sure once he tastes the cracklings he will be alright with it!

                                1. re: danhole
                                  Sam Fujisaka Dec 18, 2007 12:40 PM

                                  While people everywhere are turning their backs on chicken skin and fat, disavowing having ever touched the stuff, this group is rendering the fat and deep frying the skin!!! Remarkable and hilarious and delicious!

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                    s
                                    Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:36 PM

                                    I don't smoke. I don't drink much. I don't do drugs. Some chicken fat now and again, what could it hurt?

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                      danhole Dec 20, 2007 10:15 AM

                                      You are so right! This certainly isn't a PC topic is it? But oh, so good! I never had thought about just cooking chicken skin before this, but now I think I'm going to get chicken breasts, skin on, and then save up the skin! I do already save those fatty chunks off my chickens, but now I have a new use for them!

                                      1. re: danhole
                                        s
                                        Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 11:02 AM

                                        It absolutely is a PC topic. We're being "green," spreading the word about how not to waste any part of the chicken. The less that is wasted, the better it is for the planet.

                                        1. re: Shayna Madel
                                          danhole Dec 20, 2007 11:08 AM

                                          What a "spin doctor" you are! Good defense!

                                          1. re: danhole
                                            s
                                            Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 01:08 PM

                                            Thanks, it's all in a day's work. But I still can't figure out what to do with chicken lips. (I know, I'm twisted.)

                                            1. re: Shayna Madel
                                              Sam Fujisaka Dec 20, 2007 01:39 PM

                                              You, Mrs Hole, and I should market a new product: vac packed chicken skins with an attracitively presented jar of rendered chicken fat, a kit to make quick deep fried skins. Customers would be both green and anti-food correctness.

                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                danhole Dec 20, 2007 01:43 PM

                                                Sounds like a winner! What an entrepreneur! We could enclose a couple recipes for the chicken livers with it!

                                                1. re: danhole
                                                  s
                                                  Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 02:48 PM

                                                  Some happy idiot would be complaining that we are wreaking havoc on the environment by using a vac pack. But I'm in. And I still need to know what to do with chicken lips.

                                                  1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                    danhole Dec 20, 2007 02:53 PM

                                                    Grind them up and put them in a homemade sausage or a hot dog!

                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                      Sam Fujisaka Dec 20, 2007 04:17 PM

                                                      Kidding? On the thread dealing with portions at fine restaurants I've learned that we could serve three lips well presented and sauced for $45 a plate!

                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                        t
                                                        Tay Dec 20, 2007 04:23 PM

                                                        Sam...
                                                        Rofl! That's hysterical!

                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                          s
                                                          Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                          Yeah, and I guess more chow-ish than my idea of grinding up the lips for fertilizer.

                                                2. re: Shayna Madel
                                                  f
                                                  foiegras Dec 21, 2007 07:06 AM

                                                  I bet the chicken lips would be a hit with my dogs.

                                        2. re: danhole
                                          JungMann Dec 18, 2007 01:03 PM

                                          It's easy to collect the excess skin that hangs over the cavity when you roast a whole chicken. That yields a TON of fat and skin. When cooking quarters with backs you can lift the skin to obtain the subcutaneous fat for schmaltz, too.

                                          1. re: JungMann
                                            s
                                            Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:37 PM

                                            You sure you're a goy?

                                2. re: JungMann
                                  Gio Dec 18, 2007 11:36 AM

                                  I do this but splash sherry instead of brandy, and no cracklings. I Love chicken livers.

                                3. Sam Fujisaka Dec 18, 2007 11:22 AM

                                  Simmered a bit in a homemade teriyaki type sauce

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                    danhole Dec 20, 2007 10:20 AM

                                    Sam,

                                    what is the recipe for your homemade teriyaki sauce? I have one, and am curious how closely it resembles yours.

                                    1. re: danhole
                                      Sam Fujisaka Dec 20, 2007 01:30 PM

                                      I suspect yours is like mine. Soy sauce (Kikkoman), dry white wine (I'd use Mirin but its too expensive here), some brown sugar, lots of finely grated ginger--all to taste. Simple as can be.

                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                        danhole Dec 20, 2007 01:44 PM

                                        Sounds very similar. I just wanted to be sure I was doing it right!

                                  2. c
                                    chazzerking Dec 18, 2007 11:42 AM

                                    for a lb. of livers, take 2 med white onions and cut into sliver wedges. saute in 3 T. olive oil over med-high heat until starting to crinkle and brown. remove from skillet and set aside. take the livers, rinse and pick any extra connective tissue and pat dry. heat a heavy skillet to very hot.Add 1/4 c. olive oil and the livers one at a time so they dont touch or lay on each other. saute over high heat till crusted. turn and repeat. add 1/2 c. cognac and flame. add the onions,sea salt, coarse black peeper and 1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley. remove from heat and serve withcountry bread toasts. the livers should be crusty on the outside and pink in the center. Unfortunately, I can eat a whole pound of them cooked like this by myself, which isn't real good for one's cholesterol, I am led to understand.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: chazzerking
                                      t
                                      Tay Dec 18, 2007 12:06 PM

                                      chazz
                                      Outstanding recipe!

                                      1. re: chazzerking
                                        s
                                        Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 12:08 PM

                                        Ah, but you are using olive oil rather than chicken fat, so you are cooking the low-cholesterol way!

                                        1. re: Shayna Madel
                                          c
                                          chazzerking Dec 18, 2007 06:58 PM

                                          Shayna, truth be told, until recently I actually used 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 butter, trafe, I know, but boy does it taste good that way

                                        2. re: chazzerking
                                          NYCkaren Dec 18, 2007 12:23 PM

                                          I love chicken livers but I don't have much experience cooking them. My mother never cooked them _ she still won't eat them. I know recipes always say to remove the connective tissue. Sorry to be dense but what is that, exactly? What does it look like?

                                          1. re: NYCkaren
                                            s
                                            Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:23 PM

                                            It's pretty much whatever isn't the liver itself, sorta whitish, thready stuff holding sections of the livers together. Not always on every piece. Hope that helps.

                                        3. h
                                          howboy Dec 18, 2007 11:44 AM

                                          Clean em up, saute them with some onions and mushrooms and a splash of sherry and serve over buttered noodles (s&p).
                                          Or, homemade chopped liver.

                                          1. scubadoo97 Dec 18, 2007 12:15 PM

                                            I rarely buy chicken livers but when breaking down a chicken I will saute the liver in EVOO or butter or both till pink. Finish with a little red wine if available and enjoy on the spot.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                              toodie jane Dec 18, 2007 12:27 PM

                                              one of the cook's unsung bonuses for buying and breaking out a whole chicken!

                                              1. re: toodie jane
                                                danhole Dec 18, 2007 12:43 PM

                                                I am always so disappointed when there is no chicken liver in the whole chicken! We had 4 chickens that we deep fried a couple weeks ago, and only one had the liver in it! Bummer! We were at my daughter's and I pulled out a pan and cooked that sucker up and ate it out of the pan! My son in law said what the hell are you doing? Talk about grossing people out! But it's a treat for me!

                                                1. re: danhole
                                                  s
                                                  Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:39 PM

                                                  Well, I would march down to the supermarket immediately and complain about the missing livers. Are you sure your son-in-law doesn't have a problem?

                                                  1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                    danhole Dec 18, 2007 02:49 PM

                                                    Well, I think he has a problem, but then again he thinks I do too! But I did cut off the fatty parts, and tails, necks, etc and made my daughter freeze them for future use! Maybe I will steal that bag next time I babysit!

                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                      s
                                                      Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:57 PM

                                                      Just remember, he did give you grandchildren...Make sure you "train" them in these finer points of chowing! Start them young and you might have a shot at getting them to like this stuff!

                                                  2. re: danhole
                                                    c
                                                    chazzerking Dec 18, 2007 07:03 PM

                                                    Actually, I think the real prize for breaking down a whole chicken is the heart. Livers, you can buy at any grocery. but hearts, are just as flavorful, and they're possessed of the most perfect chewy texture. You have to be careful, though, as overcooking them even slightly can render them the consistency of a pencil eraser

                                              2. s
                                                showlett Dec 18, 2007 01:30 PM

                                                The BEST way to prepare chicken livers is to wrap them in bacon and grill them! Serve them with cocktail sauce! ( I know that cocktail sauce sounds weird)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: showlett
                                                  Cheflambo Dec 20, 2007 01:50 PM

                                                  Ah Showlett! This was the recipe I was waiting for! I wondered who would remember angels on horseback! I know the bacon isn't kosher, but oh, my ... THIS is my favorite way to have chicken liver (the same works for oysters) Sometimes you can even add a slice of water chestnut for a little crunch.

                                                  1. re: Cheflambo
                                                    danhole Dec 20, 2007 02:53 PM

                                                    Isn't that rumaki? Adding the water chestnut and bacon?

                                                2. rcallner Dec 18, 2007 01:36 PM

                                                  Absolutely - chopped liver. It's a heart attack on a plate, but SO good, and in my category of what to eat - just during the holidays - because it's SO GOOD. Basic recipe, schmaltz (one whole chicken trimming's worth of fat will get you there), caramelized onions, a little whole chopped garlic, season the livers lightly and saute 'til pink in the middle. Blend in two or more chopped hard-boiled eggs, a tablespoon of brandy or even Crown Royal or such, salt, pepper, and I've taken to smoothing the texture, leaving it a little character, with my stick immersion blender. Serve on good crackers with a smear of Dijon, topped with those cutecutecute cornichons sliced lengthwise, a tiny drop of fresh lemon juice, and OMG!!!! Other garnishes that are good are chopped ripe black olives and cheap caviar.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: rcallner
                                                    s
                                                    Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 02:47 PM

                                                    My "recipe" is somewhat similar. Hard boil 4-5 eggs and refrigerate. Saute about a pound of livers in schmaltz until firm, but not dry inside. While the livers are cooling, saute an onion or two in more schmaltz. Grind the livers, onions and eggs in a meat grinder or using the meat grinder attachment to your KitchenAid stand mixer, using the plate with the smaller holes. Alternate the eggs, onions and liver when grinding, as the moist onions make the grinding easier. Salt and pepper to taste, and if it's a little dry, add a little melted schmaltz. If the eggs or livers are too warm when you try to grind, the chopped liver will be a bit too pasty. Chill. Or not.

                                                    1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                      Gio Dec 18, 2007 05:27 PM

                                                      A few years ago, when David Rosengarten had his show with Rudy Guiliani's wife at the time, Donna Hanover, the daughter of the folks who owned the 2nd Avenue Deli was a guest and made her family's version of Chopped Liver..... and..... That was it. Her face, as she prepared the livers, was pure joy. His face as he ate what she prepared was even more ecstatic. I'll never forget it.

                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                        s
                                                        Shayna Madel Dec 18, 2007 09:43 PM

                                                        And the funny thing is that the recipe was given to me by my mother who got it from her mother before her and neither has, to my knowledge, ever been to the 2nd Avenue Deli. A cousin of mine from out of town makes it pretty much the same way. I'm thinking it's just the sort of basic, traditional way it's done.

                                                    2. re: rcallner
                                                      JungMann Dec 19, 2007 05:27 AM

                                                      Oh yes! I forgot the most important part: hard-boiled eggs. Chopped liver just is not the same without them. I'm pretty sure I discard the yolks, however, and use just the whites. That way the liver flavor doesn't get overshadowed by the eggy flavor.

                                                      My preference is on crackers or toast with tomato, onion and a bit of horseradish mayo and/or spicy mustard.

                                                      1. re: JungMann
                                                        j
                                                        Joebob Dec 19, 2007 05:47 PM

                                                        Please try whole eggs, and mashing everything with a large fork to leave some textural variation. That is chopped chicken liver! Blending produces pate.

                                                    3. blue bike Dec 18, 2007 07:55 PM

                                                      1. Saute them with sliced onion and apple slices (in oil or butter), sprinkle your fav herb on top (fresh thyme would go the best, in my opinion). and salt & pepper, of course.
                                                      2. Wrap them up in bacon, secure with a toothpick and pop them in the oven. Serve them with dill pickles and fresh country style bread.
                                                      3. Boil with salt, pepper, onion. Drain, mash them up with butter, cognac, herbs (herbs de Provence would be a good mix), salt & pepper. Serve on crackers or crostini.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: blue bike
                                                        a
                                                        Alice Letseat Dec 18, 2007 08:41 PM

                                                        One more...toss them in masa (corn flour), saute with an entire bunch of chopped green onions, one chopped clove garlic, and maybe a little ginger. add dark soy sauce to taste, or maybe teriyaki sauce if that;s your preference. Serve with rice. Also - dredge in flour, saute in bacon fat (yes! bacon!), add a diced onion, some minced garlic, and diced tomatoes. Use a little vermouth. boil some spaghetti. Presto! spaghetti caruso!

                                                        1. re: Alice Letseat
                                                          danhole Dec 20, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                          I would have never thought to toss them in masa! I'll have to try that! Does it give a crunch to it? Or is it just a great flavor?

                                                      2. f
                                                        foiegras Dec 20, 2007 07:20 AM

                                                        Just came by to report that I had to have chicken livers last night because of this thread! First grocery store didn't have them, had to go to a second, it was 9:45 pm by the time I got home with all the ingredients--but I had my chicken liver dinner ;)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: foiegras
                                                          danhole Dec 20, 2007 07:25 AM

                                                          Man, you are killing me! No car, DH working late, and no chicken livers in the house. I'm craving them so bad, that I even dream about eating them!

                                                          1. re: foiegras
                                                            s
                                                            Shayna Madel Dec 20, 2007 08:02 AM

                                                            I think I will try one of the recipes mentioned here, over the weekend, so I guess I will start looking for livers on my way home from work tonight. I would make the livers tonight, but I am finishing up my holiday cookie baking and have to put together my annual cookie platter (and tip envelopes) for the staff of the building where I live. I can't wait.

                                                          2. j
                                                            jujuthomas Dec 20, 2007 08:25 AM

                                                            My DH who hates livers was smoking 2 chickens this weekend. Since he knows my mom and I love them he seasoned with salt and pepper (maybe a little garlic powder?) and put them on the smoker for 1 hour. OMG. a little pink inside, a little smoky, they were awesome.
                                                            Since I'm the only one in our household who eats them, I don't buy them to cook I just throw them into the chicken when it goes in the oven to roast. Not as delish as some of these recipes look, but still yummy.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: jujuthomas
                                                              danhole Dec 20, 2007 08:33 AM

                                                              I buy them in the little plastic containers, and when I get home they are usually a little bit thawed. So I break them up and get out a portion and put that in the fridge, and put the remainder in the freezer. Since I already mentioned that not all the chicken I get have the livers in them. If they do I am a happy camper, but you can only go so long without them!

                                                              Smoking them! That sounds really good. I have a stovetop smoker, and I just might try that! What kind of wood did he use?

                                                              1. re: danhole
                                                                j
                                                                jujuthomas Dec 20, 2007 09:53 AM

                                                                I believe that evening's selection was smoked over hickory.
                                                                what a good idea to buy a container and break it up. i could make myself a little dinner of them when he's out sometimes. thanks for the tip. :)

                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                  j
                                                                  jujuthomas Dec 20, 2007 12:31 PM

                                                                  my mistake - Saturday nights smoke was apple and maple. 1 hour on a 250 degree smoker.

                                                                  How does a stovetop smoker work?

                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                    danhole Dec 20, 2007 12:45 PM

                                                                    That sounds even better. the stovetop smoker is made by Cameron's. It's a large roasting type pan with a sliding lid and long handles. You put the special wood chips, that you buy from them, in the bottom, a flat pan on top of that, add this rack, put your meat on the rack and put it on the stove. Once it starts smoking you slide the lid fully shut and smoke away! There are other posts on this board about this contraption, and people either love it or hate it. I personally love it. Makes the best smoked chicken breast ever, as well as briskets, steaks, etc. I can't wait to try the chicken livers in it! I have even smoked cheese and garlic in there.

                                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                                      j
                                                                      jujuthomas Dec 20, 2007 01:30 PM

                                                                      i'm thinking you have to have a real good fan on your stove hood to get the smoke out of the house? ours just recirculates - can't wait to rebuild the kitchen. can't wait to hear what you think of smoked livers! and I can't wait until he cooks another chicken out there. I will certainly have my livers ready for smoke! :)

                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                        danhole Dec 20, 2007 01:46 PM

                                                                        It really doesn't get that smoky, as long as you have the lid secured. I put a cast iron skillet on top! LOL! And I do not even have an exhaust fan, but I do have a kitchen window close by that I open up.

                                                              2. Dax Dec 20, 2007 01:23 PM

                                                                Back when I used to cook at my folks' meat and 3, we just used to put the livers in a little salted water, dredge in flour, and fry up in the deep fryer for a few minutes (you get the hang of the timing by color of fried batter) and take them out when they typically were still a little pink inside, serve with hot sauce. We used Louisiana Hot Sauce back then but there are obviously better ones on the market.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: Dax
                                                                  Sam Fujisaka Dec 20, 2007 01:42 PM

                                                                  When you say, ..."and fry up in the deep fryer" did you have a restaurant or...?

                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                    Dax Dec 21, 2007 09:20 AM

                                                                    Yes, I cooked at my parent's restaurant in highschool through college. That is what I meant by meat and 3 - country cooking, meat and three vegetable type of restaurant.

                                                                  2. re: Dax
                                                                    danhole Dec 20, 2007 01:47 PM

                                                                    Do you think putting them in the salted water makes the flour stick better? My flour always just falls off! Then I have deep fat fried flour!

                                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                                      Dax Dec 21, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                      I never had a problem with the flour falling off this way. When they arrived in big bags we would wash them then put them in a container with a little salt and enough water to coat them but not much more.

                                                                      1. re: Dax
                                                                        danhole Dec 21, 2007 09:25 AM

                                                                        The salt must be the trick! Someone else mentioned that. Thanks.

                                                                        1. re: danhole
                                                                          OldDog Dec 22, 2007 12:32 AM

                                                                          I think the trick is VERY wet livers shaken in a LOT of plain flour, then allowed to dry on a rack or waxed paper for a good hour. Fry hot, salt as soon as they come out of the fry.

                                                                          1. re: OldDog
                                                                            danhole Dec 22, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                                            Do I put them in the fridge to dry, or just leave on the counter?

                                                                            1. re: danhole
                                                                              OldDog Dec 22, 2007 12:47 PM

                                                                              I just leave them on the counter, I think they fry better at room temp...but the fridge would be okay if that makes you nervous.

                                                                  3. pikawicca Dec 20, 2007 02:32 PM

                                                                    Cook some bacon and crumble. Caramelize some onions, then deglaze the pan with good sherry. Gently saute the chicken livers in butter. Mix it all together and serve over rice.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                      c
                                                                      chuckl Dec 20, 2007 03:19 PM

                                                                      i made risotto with them once. make the risotto the typical way, saute the livers with some shallot and add them at the end

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      pasuga Dec 20, 2007 05:03 PM

                                                                      Ismail Merchant, of the Merchant/Ivory films, had a couple great recipes for chicken livers in his cookbooks. both marinated, one in yogurt, garlic and pepper, (my favorite) and another in mustard. I've made the yogurt recipe many times, it's really good.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: pasuga
                                                                        h
                                                                        howboy Dec 21, 2007 10:01 AM

                                                                        Tell me more about he yogurt recipe, please!

                                                                      2. d
                                                                        DBrooks Dec 20, 2007 05:29 PM

                                                                        I make them for my wife the Greek way--saute them in olive oil, remove when done, deglace with a little lemon juice, add some oregano, salt and pepper, a pat of butter for richness, and pour the sauce over. She loves them...and always with a slice of no-knead bread for mopping up.

                                                                        1. chef chicklet Dec 21, 2007 07:31 AM

                                                                          OMG I love ALL the ways as you've described! Never met a chicken liver I didn't like.
                                                                          But my Dad would simply dredge them in his "secret" flour/spice mix, fry them in the cast iron skillet, then he and I would eat them like two cheshire cats that were really in on something.
                                                                          Salty, peppery, garlicky and crunchy, goodness...
                                                                          But I love the way they make them at Bancheros Italian restaurant in Hayward, sauteed then simmered in marinara sauce with mushrooms and peas- served with pasta. sigh...

                                                                          This thread is wonderful!

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                            s
                                                                            Shayna Madel Dec 21, 2007 08:02 AM

                                                                            And I am learning that all roads don't lead to chopped liver or liver and onions, scrumptious though both may be!

                                                                            1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                              c
                                                                              chazzerking Dec 21, 2007 11:40 AM

                                                                              One other variation that is kinda "liver and onions" but quite different in execution is to take the onions cut into thin wedges and put a jar of currant jelly in a saute pan and melt over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently until the onions are caramelized and the liquid from the jelly is gone. Cook the livers as I described above and serve with the onion compote. the sweet/tart flavor of the onion is the perfect foil for the richness of the livers.

                                                                              1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                                cinderz Dec 21, 2007 03:56 PM

                                                                                I just got back on the boards after a month's hiatus and god knows how, ended up on this thread. I am surprised that no one mentioned the "wooden" bowl that is used to chop up the chicken livers and hard-boiled eggs. It's a big no-no to use a food processer because it macerates the livers too much. A pastry cutter does a good job or just a fork. I have my mother-in-law's wood bowl, dedicated just to chopped chicken liver. ....and as for chicken skin, Jacque Pepin has a recipe where you simply lay the raw skin on a cookie sheet (a jelly roll pan is even better because it has sides that will keep the fat from sliding off), salt the skin lightly and bake in the oven until crisp. I usually crumble up the pieces and save to pop into mashed potatoes. Every bit as good as the old-fashioned process; the only difference being that you can't cook it with onions, or get traditional gribenes this way.
                                                                                No one has mentioned "dirty rice" the Louisiana version of rice that tosses cooked rice with chicken livers/gizzards and green onions. Looks like hell but tastes like heaven or, at least, limbo.

                                                                                1. re: cinderz
                                                                                  danhole Dec 22, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                                                  When we first moved back to Houston in 1970, our neighbors were cajuns, and she would cook for me sometimes. She brought over this mess she called "dirty rice" and it was nice and hot, and said try it, It looked awful, but I was a kid and did what I was told, so I took a bite! Oh mercy! How divine was this mussed up mix of what? Rice and chicken livers? Wow! I told her I loved it, and she was glad I was adventurous, because she thought a "white" kid like me wouldn't touch it! Little did she know my food roots were a bit jewish, german, and romanian with some good old midwest mixed in. After that she blessed me many time with wonderful dishes I still can't begin to replicate!

                                                                                  Oh, and I finally had my chicken livers last night, and I mushed them with a fork, after I cooked the in bacon grease with a touch of seasonings. No eggs, I was in a hurry. I'm going to have some fried today!

                                                                                  Thanks for the Jacques Pepin method. I really want to do that!

                                                                                  1. re: danhole
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    Shayna Madel Dec 22, 2007 08:05 AM

                                                                                    This reminds me that years ago, at Thanksgiving, when Mom used to do a lot more cooking, she used to make white and wild rice and cut up the turkey liver and add that to the rice and bake it for awhile in a Bundt pan, then unmold it. Stopping at the supermarket today to get some livers...

                                                                            2. c
                                                                              chazzerking Dec 26, 2007 08:50 AM

                                                                              Well, as a direct result of this thread, I made a batch of chopped liver on Monday for a party monday night. I sauteed onions and celery and then the livers with garlic and cognoac then ground them with some hard boiled eggs in an old hand grinder on the coarse blade and seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. they were wonderful, and so long as I don't have to take a cholesterol test any time soon, I'll eat the leftovers too.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: chazzerking
                                                                                scubadoo97 Jan 8, 2011 06:05 AM

                                                                                Eggs have more cholesterol than chicken livers.

                                                                              2. e
                                                                                eatyououtofhouseandhome Mar 22, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                                                Wow what a thread. I'm frying in panko, hitting with crystal hot sauce and serving on brioche for an app for my dad's birthday tonight (in tribute to Harold's Fried Chicken of chicago where he is from). But usually I just sear, then de-glaze with whatever booze (calvados is great) and mustard then eat out of my pan while I roast a chicken.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: eatyououtofhouseandhome
                                                                                  f
                                                                                  foiegras Feb 18, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                  mmm ... i think your method could get me to try something new. what kind of mustard?

                                                                                2. n
                                                                                  nosey Apr 20, 2008 03:40 PM

                                                                                  All I do is dredge them in flour, salt and pepper and pan fry them. On the side I have to have egg noodles with melted butter. I think I might try adding some hot sauce this time. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas!

                                                                                  1. w
                                                                                    waterfilterlady Jan 8, 2011 05:28 AM

                                                                                    I love chicken livers cooked with bacon. There is no oil needed when you cook them with the bacon grease.. yummy. I leave the flour off (dont need all the extra calories) ;)

                                                                                    1. v
                                                                                      Veronica Lenard Aug 12, 2011 09:49 AM

                                                                                      I hope you find this helpful I like to soak livers in evaporated milk for 30min. to an hour salt/pepper coat with flour make sure grease is hot,not burning and cook to golden brown ENJOY

                                                                                      1. mamachef Aug 12, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                                                        Either sauteed with onions and served with over-med. eggs, chopped, or fried up like a bar snack in batter, w/ horseradish dip.
                                                                                        I have tried them w/ brown butter, capers and a splash of sherry, and LOVED them that way.
                                                                                        And I'm the only one who eats them here, too, which is great: more for me, on the couch. And that's how I like 'em best.

                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                          tauntonlake Feb 18, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                                                          I love them just plain .. no breading, butter, anything like that ..

                                                                                          I just wrap them up in some foil and oven roast @ 400 degrees for 40 minutes. simple and perfect. :)

                                                                                          1. c oliver Feb 18, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                                                            Just an fyi. Danhole, the OP, passed away recently. I know she'd love that this thread, as well as many others I'm sure, lives on :)

                                                                                            1. n
                                                                                              Nilly11 Aug 7, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                              I pan fried with onions. Never dried

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Nilly11
                                                                                                scubadoo97 Aug 7, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                                Me too. Often finish with port or sherry

                                                                                                 
                                                                                              2. deet13 Aug 7, 2013 04:47 PM

                                                                                                I quarter and soak the livers in an egg/milk mix, then drop them into a plastic bag filled with flour, pepper, onion and garlic powder.

                                                                                                After that I drop them into a cast iron skillet filled a 1/2 inch of hot lard. Cook them until they're golden brown (four or five minutes), and set on paper towels until all the excess fat is drained off.

                                                                                                Otherwise I'll quarter and soak in oil and soy sauce, skewer them, and cook them on the grill.

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