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simple chicken livers recipe (not pate) - pan frying

can everyone share their favourite pan-fried chicken livers recipe? i'm looking for something simple. any style (chinese, etc), but preferably not too complicated.


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  1. I like them just coated in flour, salt & pepper. Watch out frying them, they pop and splash grease something terrible. Have a grease screen at the ready. Love fried chicken livers. Enjoy.

    1. Rinse well & pat dry. Dust lightly with seasoned (s&p) flour & sauté over medium to high heat in butter or goose fat (or even chicken fat, if you have some) or a mixture of both. Make sure not to overcook them, which happens faster than you think.

      A little before I take them out, I like to grind a bit more pepper over them and add a splash of balsamic, cognac, port or red wine and let it reduce to coat them.

      Then I eat them pretty much immediately -- they're all mine MINE, because my man is not a fan :-)

      1. Jacques Pepin has a couple of quick recipes for chicken livers. One of my favorites is the result of his roast chicken method. Not pan-fried, as you roast it in the pan with the chicken for a couple of minutes, but still easy and delicious:

        "Roast Chicken:

        Preheat a convection oven to 400°F or a regular oven to 425°F. Reserve the chicken liver, and sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and place it on its side in the roasting pan. (I start it on its side, because the legs take the longest to cook.) Cook for 20 minutes on one side, and then turn it and cook it for 20 minutes on the other side. Finally, finish it up on its back, basting occasionally until done. It takes about 1 hour in a convection oven to produce a chicken with a beautiful, crusty, brown exterior and juicy meat.

        Near the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the liver with a dash of salt and pepper, and add it to the pan next to the chicken to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Cut it in half, place each half on a toast–half for me and half for my wife–and enjoy with a glass of wine as a special bonus for the cook."

          1. I fry a few strips of bacon and then the flour-dredged livers in the bacon fat and then make a little gravy and serve it all on toast. My cholesterol is off the charts but my heart and plumbing is good, to the lament of my heirs.

            1. Fry bacon, remove from pan. Sautee onions in the bacon fat. When onions are soft and translucent, add the livers (floured or not, your choice) and a splash of soy or teriyaki sauce.
              When done, season with black pepper and return the bacon to the dish.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                I do something similar except I saute onions & livers in butter. I also add julienne bellpeppers, and sometimes shrooms and a splash of balsamic vinegar along with the soy / teriyaki. Over a bed of rice & Yummers!

              2. Here’s a recipe from Copeland Marks’ “Sephardic Cooking,” this one from the Calcutta community.

                1 lb. chicken liver, divided into lobes
                ½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
                1 garlic clove, chopped fine
                ½ tsp. salt
                ½ tsp. garam masala
                3 tbsp. corn or peanut oil

                Mix together, except for oil, and let stand for 15 min.

                Fry in oil for 4 minutes or so until livers are cooked through, but not overly so. They can also be grilled on skewers.

                1 Reply
                1. re: VitalForce

                  One of my local asian restaurants does a similar dish, marinating the livers in ginger, garlic,coriander and other spices (probably garam masala)

                2. Rinse the chicken livers well; drain and pat dry. Dredge in cornstarch and shake off excess. Dip in mixture of beaten egg with a little milk added. Dredge in mixture of AP flour, garlic powder and seasonings. Shake off excess and drop into 375 degree oil (careful of the splash/spatter; you can use a wok for frying if you have one) for 4 - 5 minutes turning periodically (sometimes less; check a few to see how they cook) drain on paper towels and serve. I like to use very little seasonings so as not to overwhelm the flavors of the livers themselves.

                  1. Oh goodness - one of my favorite comfort foods that I make the same way my grandmother made them.

                    I just melt an obscene amount of butter in a large skillet, then add in my chicken livers (rinsed, dried & trimmed of any connective tissue); sometimes dusted with flour, sometimes not), & saute until done to my liking (I like them cooked through, not pink). I then add the juice from one lemon, & a scattering of caraway seeds. That's it.

                    Grandma used to serve these as appetizers - she'd stick one of those cellophane frilly toothpicks into each one. I just like scarfing them down sans toothpicks by themselves as a meal.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Bacardi1

                      (Oops - just realized I forgot to add "salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste".)

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        I boil the chicken livers. I don't know how to do them any other way. I am diabetic and it works to boil them. I bring it to a boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes. I too love them as a comfort food and for just a plain diiner

                        1. re: TavaLewis

                          You could grill them, without adding any fat. I am NOT your doctor or dietitian, but brushing with a small amount of oil should not be harmful. Ask them.

                          1. re: lagatta

                            fats do not cause blood sugar to rise. tava would be perfectly fine pan-frying chicken livers.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I think simmering the livers for 15 minutes will take care of any nutritional value or non-value those livers have ever had....

                              1. re: linguafood

                                well, the good news is over-cooked meats don't spike blood sugar either, lol.

                          2. re: TavaLewis

                            You can cook them in a frying pan without adding any oil at all. Just toss them in a hot, dry pan, cook to your desired doneness (I like them seared on the outside, pink inside), and eat!

                        2. thanks all, very nice! most of the suggestion sound within my reach. appreciate it!

                          1. Just curious about the pate thing? Maybe you already make paté and want other idears? Or just don't want to make it?

                            1. One of the most unusual chicken liver dishes I have eaten is the Rigatoni With Chicken Liver, Onion And Sage Sauce at Marc Vetri’s restaurant in Philadelphia. This was such a great dish that I immediately bought a copy of his cookbook. See the recipe here:


                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Unkle Al

                                Oh yeah, that is one delish dish. On the heavier side, tho.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Saute some yellow onion until just browned slightly in some Evoo or vegetable oil, add the livers and cook for about 3 minutes, s&p....then whisk two large eggs and pour into pan for an omlet that is out of this world!,,,(as taught to me by my great-grandmother, circa 1960!)

                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                    DANG that sounds good! This thread is killin' me. My husband is not into the livers, either, but there's a new butcher shop in town and I saw tubs of chicken livers in there recently...I might have to have myself a little private feast!

                                    1. re: dingey

                                      My husband won't touch them either, so I either make them for myself when he's not going to be home for dinner, or I just make him something else. The livers take so little time to prep & cook, that making him something else equally as quick isn't a hassle.

                                2. re: Unkle Al

                                  Oh boy, you may have just posted a new favorite dish of mine! Can't wait to try this.

                                3. I can't say no to a deliciously fried chicken liver, but this recipe I came across is also VERY good and so simple.


                                  I actually add the garlic when I add the lemon juice and olive oil to cook it up a bit.

                                  1. Saute some sweet onions in butter, S & P. Add the livers, S & P, (optional: Fresh thyme) and cook until done. Finish with a splash of brandy or dry sherry. Eat on French bread slices.

                                    1. Skewer with rosemary sprigs and fry or grill as normal.

                                      1. So, I have been curious about the goings on inside of my chickens and I finally drew up enough courage to figure it out. I looked up a diagram to figure out what was inside my chicken and saw that this huge deep reddish thing was a liver. I figured, that sounds yummy. I read through this thread and decided to quickly saute it in butter with salt, pepper, and garlic. I then took my first bite, it was almost steak like! I shared some with my curious canine and he shared my enthusiasm. I tossed the gizzards because i wasn't cooking my chicken until later and I didn't really know what to do with it. I saved the neck with the back I cut out (spatchcock) in a freezer bag to use for stock later.

                                        I am pretty excited to try more ways of using everything and wasting little to none.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Sarrastia

                                          You can pretty easily cook the hearts right alongside the livers.

                                          Gizzards take a little more cooking to get them tender.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            Although the hearts are more rubbery and chewier than the livers.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              true, but not in that noisy "what the hell are you eating" way that gizzards can be if they're not simmered long enough!

                                              Now...gesiers confits? Gizzards slow-cooked in goose or duck fat -- just as decadent as they sound. (one of the specialties in the southwest of France is a big salad, with sliced, smoked duck breast, chopped gesiers confit, chopped toasted walnuts, and drizzled with walnut oil.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                if you marinate the hearts overnight in something acidic they are much more tender when cooked.

                                            2. re: Sarrastia

                                              Gizzards work fine with necks and backbones for stock. The dark-meat fibers and the cartilagenous connective tissue both add to the richness of the stock. Besides, once they're simmered, the cat or dog should be thrilled.

                                            3. Place chicken livers in buttermilk and a few squirts of hot sauce and let stand 10 or so minutes.
                                              then lightly dust chicken livers in flour
                                              sautee in a little fat...bacon, duck,etc
                                              Drain on paper towel

                                              1. Tamasin Day-Lewis's Spiced Chicken Livers
                                                1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
                                                1 scant tsp coriander seeds
                                                pinch each of sea salt and black peppercorns
                                                1 – 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
                                                3 heads chicory
                                                cayenne pepper
                                                450 g chicken livers
                                                good sized knob of butter
                                                4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
                                                1 tsp molasses sugar
                                                squeeze of lemon juice
                                                black pepper
                                                1. Dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds in a small heavy-based frying pan for about 3 minutes until they smell aromatic.

                                                2. Tip the seeds into a mortar, and crush with the sea salt and peppercorns. Add the cayenne and flour, and mix together well. Set aside until ready to start cooking.

                                                3. Cut the bases off the chicory, and separate out all the leaves.

                                                4. Trim any fat and sinew away from the chicken livers, leaving the livers whole.

                                                5. Pat them dry with paper towels and toss them in the spice mixture so that they are evenly covered.

                                                6. Heat the butter in a frying pan until it’s bubbling, and then add the chicken livers. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the chicken livers over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

                                                7. Meanwhile, put the olive oil and molasses sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. Put the chicory leaves in the warm oil and stir them gently. They will begin to wilt pretty quickly. Season with salt and pepper.

                                                8. Remove the chicory from the heat and squeeze a little lemon juice over it.

                                                9. To serve, place a few leaves on each plate and spoon the livers on top.

                                                (I've never bothered with the chicory--just hoovered them quickly.)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: sr44

                                                  Now you're talking my language, sr44. I'm definately adding this recipe to Sunday's meal. Thank you.

                                                2. Anyone have a recipe for livers stir fried? An Asian restaurant used to grill them by the table and serve as apps. There was soy sauce but I have idea what else. Thanks!

                                                  1. I still do the basics: butter, then minced onions, then livers, salt and pepper and some good quality paprika at the end. Eat on buttered rye toast. Hard to go wrong!

                                                    1. Not sure where I read it, buy it said to soak livers (and gizzards and hearts) in milk overnight. IIRC it had something to do with neutralizing toxins or something paranoid like that. Anyways, I do that before coating with masa and frying. As Nanzi mentioned, a splatter screen is recommended.

                                                      When I do gizzards I cut them into smaller pieces for faster frying and easier eating.

                                                      I eat them on buttered toast or in a soft flour tortilla with horseradish mayo .

                                                      1. I was thinking of this thread as I bought a container of fresh livers the other day. Along the lines of others, with slight variation;
                                                        caramalize onions and shallots in butter and olive oil (long, slow, deep browning and softness)
                                                        push to side of pan and add livers, brown aggresively, turn occasionally.
                                                        Stir together onion mix and livers, crank to high, add about 1-2 cups water, deglaze, bring to boil and simmer a few minutes.
                                                        Add a cornstarch slurry and thicken to your liking.
                                                        Remove from stove, put in container in fridge overnight, letting flavors comingle.
                                                        Warm in morning, season with salt, enjoy.

                                                        1. Greek-style chicken liver:

                                                          saute in EVOO over med. heat till browned,
                                                          add a bit of dried oregano,
                                                          deglaze pan with fresh lemon juice,
                                                          add tad butter off heat.

                                                          1. Replying (very) late. Re somervilleoldtimer and others who posted like ideas....yes, there is something about frying in butter. Chicken livers like dairy, I think.

                                                            1. I may have missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned Rumake yet;


                                                              1. 1 can irish potatoes sliced
                                                                1/2 a yellow onion sliced thin
                                                                1 pound chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed to your liking.
                                                                8oz package of mushrooms sliced
                                                                Salt& pepper
                                                                seasonings of choice (I use one of those mccormick spice grinder mixes, the italian one)
                                                                butter or cooking fat of your choice (olive oil suitable for cooking works well)
                                                                A couple splashes of worcestershire sauce.

                                                                Drain canned potatoes and rinse, letting them drain again very well. Add them to a hot pan with a bit of butter or oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over med high heat till browned on both sides.

                                                                In a second, large frying pan heat butter or oil and add oinions and mushrooms sautee them until they are soft and starting to brown. Season them up a bit and transfer them the potatoes or another bowl.
                                                                Add a little more butter to the onion pan, when melted add the chicken livers seasoning them with salt and pepper and the seasoning of your choice and worcestershire sauce. Cook the livers until desired doneness. cook them till well done and lightly browned. Add the onions and mushrooms, as well as the canned potatoes back to the pan and toss together adjusting seasoning if needed. Then serve and dig in.

                                                                I make this and I usually get a hearty dinner (I like it with a side salad) and lunch the next day.

                                                                1. Rinse the livers and drain on paper towels. Melt some butter, add a good amount of chopped onions, let them sizzle for a few minutes. Add chicken livers, salt, pepper and paprika. Saute until livers lose the pink look inside, and serve on buttered rye toast. Can't beat it.

                                                                  1. My son loves them and I make them pretyy simply. I rinse and then soak in milk for about an hour or so. Dry well, season with S&P, dredge in egg and then panko and pan fry.

                                                                    1. This takes less than 30 minutes.

                                                                      Great with rice – start cooking the rice before you start cooking the liver, and both should be done at about the same time. Broccoli is a nice additional side-dish with this.

                                                                      Chicken Livers in wine sauce

                                                                      1 lb. chicken livers
                                                                      1 medium onion
                                                                      6 medium fresh mushrooms (don’t substitute canned)
                                                                      I usually use an 8 oz. package, since we like mushrooms
                                                                      2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (don’t substitute dried)
                                                                      4 Tablespoons butter
                                                                      salt/pepper to taste
                                                                      3 Tablespoons dry white wine (recipe says you can sub chicken broth for the wine - we never do)
                                                                      ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
                                                                      (we put in a bowl and add at table to each serving)

                                                                      Wash, pat dry and cut the chicken livers in half.
                                                                      Peel & chop the onions
                                                                      Wash, pat dry, trim & slice the mushrooms
                                                                      Chop the parsley.

                                                                      Melt the butter in a large skillet.
                                                                      Saute the livers, onion, mushroom about 4 – 6 minutes, until the onion is limp and the livers are pink in the middle. Season to taste.
                                                                      Add the wine, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
                                                                      Remove the skillet from heat and cover to keep warm.

                                                                      To serve, sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve with rice.

                                                                      From Dinner A Day cookbook

                                                                      1. My husband does a Japanese dish with chicken livers, chopped garlic chives, and a sauce with soy and sake and various other things. Pretty simple, and very very good.

                                                                        1. Simply browned and sauteed in butter with salt, pepper, sage and marjoram.

                                                                          1. I like chicken livers (or goat liver) sautéed with jalapenos and onions. Just trim off any connective tissue, pat dry, salt and pepper, and fry up in some olive oil. Serve them with some nice French bread.

                                                                            1. Nothing could be easier than tossing undredged livers into the pan with butter or bacon drippings and sautéing them with onions. S and P to taste. Optional ingredients: mushrooms, jalapeno/Serrano chili, bacon or chorizo.
                                                                              Serving methods: Add a few scrambled eggs or mix livers into a container of Country Crock garlic mashed potato.

                                                                              1. Fried chicken livers. Buttermilk soak, seasoned flour dredge & fry 'em up.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                      YES! One of the best ways to cook chicken livers.

                                                                                      You can guild the lily by serving a chipotle dipping sauce on the side

                                                                                    2. I wash the liver in lemon juice and water then pan fry them with oil onion lots lots garlic cumin ground coriander lemon and salt

                                                                                      1. Rinse and drain them. Season with goya adobo, garlic powder, black pepper, and oregano. Dredge in half and half mixture of all purpose flour and yellow cornmeal. Deep fry until crispy. They are delicious. Some white rice and a salad goes great with this. We fight over these.

                                                                                        1. I don't cook chicken livers much except the livers I pull from a whole chicken when cleaning. The rest of my family are not fans of liver.

                                                                                          My most simple method is to sauté shallot or onion in butter, sear livers till just barely done and finish with port

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                            maybe all of us liver-lovers who have families who won't touch them should have a Chowmeet just to have chicken livers!

                                                                                            (although when one of my pups came up borderline anemic, the sauteed chicken livers I served at the recommendation of the dr got "I don't love them, but I can eat them")

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              And duck livers! Mmmm. (No, they needn't be "foie gras". Duck livers are plenty "gras" without being force-fed).

                                                                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                Yup, they're delicious too. A real treat

                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                  we probably shouldn't leave out a nice piece of calf's liver, either, since we're talking about it.

                                                                                                  One of my best friends in Paris served me a gorgeous thick slab of liver, seared on the outside, but done til just warm in the middle. It was delicious.

                                                                                            2. Hi! One of my favorite recipes of liver frying comes from Ukrainian cuisine. It's very simple and tasty. Generally it's Ok for any type of liver, but there is a small difference. If it's veal liver you need to clean it and live in a boul of water for a 30 minutes. Than cut it into pieces. If it's pork or chicken liver you just need to clean it and cut to a propper size.
                                                                                              For this recip you will need:
                                                                                              300 grams of liver
                                                                                              head red onion
                                                                                              1 tb. sp. of olive oil
                                                                                              100 - 125 ml of red wine vinegar (half of the cup)
                                                                                              1 tea sp. of Сoriandr seeds
                                                                                              0.5 tea sp. of turmeric (only for chicken liver)
                                                                                              100 - 125 grams of all purpose flour
                                                                                              Put liver into a boul. Mix it with the chopped onion, coriander and turmeric. Season it to a taste. Pour all vinaigre on a liver. Mix it carefully and leave for 10 minutes. Then drained all liquid and separate liver and onion. Dust liver from all sides and deep fry it for 3 - 6 minutes. Than deep fry the onion for simple and nice confit. Add some green and serve with your favorite sour souse.

                                                                                              1. chicken livers in mushroom and cognac cream sauce

                                                                                                chicken liver - cut to size and soak in milk and some salt for an hour, pat dry before use
                                                                                                garlic - minced
                                                                                                mushrooms - sliced, any type would do, regular button mushrooms would do fine
                                                                                                shallots - finely chopped
                                                                                                parsley - chopped
                                                                                                butter - shit loads
                                                                                                lemon wedge
                                                                                                salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                                cooking instructions
                                                                                                - hot pan, butter in, sautee mushrooms
                                                                                                - add shallots and garlic when mushrooms are coloured and lower heat
                                                                                                - continue to cook till mushroom tender, reserve mushroom and any liquour
                                                                                                - in the same pan, crank heat up, butter in, livers in, turning occasionally
                                                                                                - cook till about 60% cooked depending on liver sizes about 2 minutes
                                                                                                - cognac in, flambe
                                                                                                - reserved mushrooms in
                                                                                                - cream in, bring to boil and slightly thickened
                                                                                                - season with salt and pepper, chopped parsley and stir in a lump of butter

                                                                                                - serve hot with crusty bread and lemon wedge on the side

                                                                                                - total cooking time should be less than 15 minutes.

                                                                                                1. For at least 30 years, I've made them as my mother taught me: dredged in seasoned flour, pan fried, and served with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers over yellow rice. But last night, I was inspired to improvise. In addition to the usual salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, I also added some Chinese five spice to the flour dredge. Stir fried the veggies first, then the livers, then added everything back into the pan with some black bean sauce with garlic and a little chicken stock, and then reduced it. It made the most delicious sauce! And the warmth of the five spice really came through in a lovely way.

                                                                                                  For the yellow rice, I cooked basmati in a combination of regular chicken stock and Swanson's Thai Ginger chicken broth, plus a packet of yellow rice seasoning I had. Loved the flavor added by the ginger-infused broth. I wish my mom was still alive, as I think she would have really loved this new variation on our old favorite. Next time though, I think I'll add carrots for color and water chestnuts for crunch.