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Lusting for livers, from chickens. How best we do them? Kept whole, not pate'.

I'm a stir fry guy, and also tried steaming, but I'm looking for livers made medium rare. Your ideas of techniques and combinations? Remember... Whole... or at last limits, bequartered.

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  1. I fry them up (whole -- those are not big livers, dude) in goose fat, duck fat or butter, sometimes bacon, seasoned with just some s&p, maybe a light flour dusting.

    Deglaze with whatever I feel like or what's around -- sherry, marsala, red wine, port, balsamic. Then I eat them out of the pan. Ok, a plate will work, too.

    Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, just good eats. IF I felt inclined, I think brown butter & sage would work quite well. Obvious companions are caramelized onions and apples, at least for this German here.

    3 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Try fixing them in brandy or cognac for a real taste sensation; flambe optional.

      1. re: mucho gordo

        Yep, done that, too. Whatever's in the liquor cabinet. Well, almost. NO single malts in my livers.

      2. re: linguafood

        I like that!! Now you got me having Chicken liver on my brain.....

      3. this is my mom's recipe for calves' liver -- I have no idea where she found it -- but it's also awesome with chicken livers, then served over rice.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7689...

        IMO, cooking the livers with something else seems to lock in the moisture that is so important to having tasty, tender livers, rather than rock-hard little pieces of nasty.

        Stir-frying and steaming are too hot, and make the livers tough.

        1. Oh.. what if they're chopped, not pate? Because one of the very best things in the entire world as far as I'm concerned is Dirty Rice. I make it every year for the "Holiday Feasts" held at school (public school in a tiny blip on the map in rural western Texas: think "not super Chowish") and always hesitate to do so, because chopped liver.. well, you know. Someone always asks for the recipe, then is all a-flutter over having just eaten three servings of liver.

          But if you get the balance right, you know you're eating chicken livers (which I love fried as you'd fry chicken, by the way - buttermilk, flour, seasonings, hot fat) but at the same time, it's not quite that liver-y.

          1. Just made this today because I was seriously craving it:

            Slice an onion and fry it and the whole chicken livers in a pan with a little olive oil. Deglaze the pan with balsamic. Add sour cream and some more balsamic to create a sauce. Add green peas and serve over pasta.

            1. Dredge in seasoned flour, pan fry with neutral oil or butter. Once livers are done remove from pan. Make a light cream chicken gravy. Serve over rice. (This is one dish where I prefer white rice rather than brown.)

              This is one of my favorite quick, cheap "I'm alone and can eat whatever I want" meals!

              2 Replies
              1. re: meatn3

                I love of the liver that comes from the chicken
                I saute mine in butter to make my heart quicken
                they must be pink (not red) inside
                and couldn't ever be considered slim pickin.'

                Seriously: rinse them, trim off any fat or discolored parts, and dry well. Shake in a paper bag with a cup of seasoned flour (ap flour, salt/pepper, dash paprika), and saute over medium heat in foaming melted butter. When the "juice" (ok, blood) begins to seep to the surface, it's time to turn them over and give them a go on the other side for about a minute and a half or two; when poked gingerly w. your spatula, they should have some "give" - not soft, but certainly not fully firm. They are best when a lovely rosy pink in the middle. And if you must gild that lily, saute some bacon and onions first, and use the resultant grease to saute the livers in. I love meatn3's cream gravy idea - have never done it, but now I'm going to.
                I have to eat mine when I'm alone too. :) Livah. Love it, or leave it.

              2. Either stir-fry or poach.

                1. I just had some "old school" chicken livers the other night with some friends. Rumaki!!! What's not to love about chicken livers, water chestnuts, bacon and soy sauce? It was nostalgic and tasty at the same time:)

                  1. I had chicken livers and pomegranate molasses at a Lebanese place last week.
                    It was a great combination but the molasses was a bit too sharp as I think chicken livers can take sweetness.
                    I'm definitely going to try this out at home.

                    1. Deep fried. Just like frying any other piece of chicken. Seasoned flour, then egg, then flour again. Or, do the buttermilk then flour thing.

                      I haven't tried it yet, but disclosing my deep fried chicken liver "recipe" made me want to try them Buffalo wing style. You know, fry them then do the hot sauce & butter bath.

                      1. OP here.

                        I seek to technique
                        where the livers
                        just like lovers
                        are seared to perfection
                        on the plate quivering
                        with roseate centers.

                        It gives call to tools
                        and their turns of election
                        perhaps soft execution.

                        1. I came up with a chicken liver po boy sandwich.

                          Cook bacon. Use the fat to fry breaded chicken livers, butterflied to make it easier to stack, seasoning the breading however you want. Lay down some bacon on a baguette. Pile chicken livers on top. Add whatever else you think is necessary for a po boy. I went with teriyaki-glazed water chestnuts to mimic rumaki the first time I made one. I may try it with cole slaw next time I make.

                          1 Reply
                          1. I love chicken liver and used to make them more often until I had problems with cholesterol. Now I might fry the extra giblets for a personal treat since my husband wouldn't come near them. However, I did make them a couple ways besides frying them and my favorite was to brown them and cook them in a light wine and tomato sauce with peas, served with pasta.

                            1. I like them simply broiled w/ S & P...my toaster oven works well for cooking just a couple as a snack.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: berkleybabe

                                Wow! Oakjoan and berkeleybabe posting one right after the other! Actually, I don't have anything to post here....as my ex used to say "What price bit!?"

                              2. My paternal grandmother made the very BEST darn chicken livers evah!! Even as a little kid I couldn't wait to visit her in the hopes that they would be on the menu. She used to serve them as pass-around appetizers with those frilly cocktail toothpicks stuck in each one, but these days I saute 'em up & eat them on their own as a meal. (Hubby doesn't like chicken livers, so they're all for me mwa ha ha ha. . . ).

                                Anyway, take your chicken livers, trim them, halve them, leave them whole depending on personal preference. Melt an obscene amount of butter (your choice) in a pan large enough to hold the little devils & saute until they're cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle on a few squeezes of FRESH lemon juice, caraway seeds (important), coarse salt, & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

                                Heaven on a plate!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Breezychow

                                  That sounds so good - I'll try it once I get my kitchen furbished!

                                2. OP here.

                                  Though I buy them by pound
                                  in those cottage cheese sized tubs

                                  I am looking for ways
                                  to caress each individual
                                  (types of pans, types of spatulas)
                                  so that each of them livers
                                  recline in the joy
                                  of roseate centers
                                  and having been handled so well.

                                  There is talk yet of temperatures,
                                  of using of tongs and of variate pans

                                  which I hope be delivered
                                  in our soft love for the livers.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                    Quick sear, wrap in bacon, broil with one turn, may get your roseate center. Pass the spoon, bring the bill.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      I use a large non-stick pan & cook them fairly quickly over medium-high heat.

                                    2. Another family of liver lovers here. I found this about a month ago and have made it twice.
                                      http://www.cilantroonline.com/2009/05...
                                      I have used diced canned tomatoes b/c that's what I had on hand, and I didn't have curry leaves. But we're crazy about it, and we end up with livers as rare as we like them.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: lemons

                                        I thank you for that.

                                        The website is gentle, declarative of patience.

                                        I see in the future
                                        a union of livers and coriander.
                                        First ground from seed into powder
                                        Next chopped to leaf as a spice and a leavener.

                                        Picture affords
                                        That we quarter them livers.

                                        This be the base
                                        to a recipe I'll be trying.

                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                          I like the idea

                                          of the coriander

                                          as long as you don't render

                                          the liver asunder

                                          and cook them until

                                          they're a pale shade of gray

                                          which could really wreck your day!

                                          A poim. By me.

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            I aspire to avoidance
                                            of grayness
                                            in both the day that I'm living
                                            and in my cooking of livers

                                            Let each come to roseate center.

                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                              My roseate spoonbill above didn't fly. As for your first concern, there is hair coloring for men. Is there a particular reason why you are averse to pate? They are surprisingly easy and tasty, and you can control your pinkness carefully.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Let each seek to our best
                                                as we grizzle to grayness
                                                but still to the path
                                                of most roseate of centers
                                                of livers of lovers
                                                of all things.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Thanks for that chuckle, born of sterling succinctness.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        or yet rediscover
                                                        from our love upon livers
                                                        prose mixed with poetry
                                                        Of God Thomas Wolfe of our literature
                                                        He is close out there somewhere
                                                        in recent thread of mine.

                                                        Magnum opi of "Look Homeward, Angel"
                                                        followed soon by "Of Time and a River"

                                                        are such class acts of out literature
                                                        best be be-read
                                                        with a touch of our raving

                                                        That has touch
                                                        to triumv
                                                        of rivers and livers and dances.

                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                          I am waiting for Michael Flatley to debue with "The Liverdance".

                                                          Or imagine the dueling Chattooga banjo's playing overtime, De-liver-ance.

                                        1. I'm leaving right now to buy some chicken livers! I like to lightly flour them with s&p and quickly saute in veg oil and deglaze with red wine vinegar. The vinegar loses some of its sharpness but is still sharp enough to balance the richness of the livers.

                                          1. Melt butter, add sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper
                                            Saute for a few min.
                                            Add chicken livers and sherry. Cook until pink. Add some heavy cream, parsley and pour over pasta. Enjoy

                                            1. Yep! Breaded and fried.
                                              Served with a side of egg noodles, garlic and sour cream!

                                              Yummy!

                                              1. This is a recipe from Tamasin Day-Lewis I've enjoyed: http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/512133
                                                but I never bothered with the chicory.

                                                And here's a recipe with a rhubarb sauce that was in the NY Times some years ago: http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/297.... There was a more recent one with rhubarb salsa, but I haven't tried that.