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simple chicken livers recipe (not pate) - pan frying

timpani_mimi Jul 26, 2012 08:47 AM

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.


  1. n
    Nanzi Jul 26, 2012 09:09 AM

    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. linguafood Jul 26, 2012 09:18 AM

      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. b
        BecaC Jul 26, 2012 09:21 AM

        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. h
          Harters Jul 26, 2012 09:26 AM

          Definitely simple - and really good:


          1. Veggo Jul 26, 2012 09:32 AM

            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. greygarious Jul 26, 2012 09:35 AM

              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
                letsindulge Jul 27, 2012 12:13 PM

                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. v
                VitalForce Jul 26, 2012 09:52 AM

                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
                  Harters Jul 26, 2012 10:17 AM

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

                2. todao Jul 26, 2012 10:24 AM

                  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. Bacardi1 Jul 26, 2012 10:55 AM

                    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.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bacardi1
                      Bacardi1 Jul 27, 2012 06:55 AM

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

                    2. t
                      timpani_mimi Jul 27, 2012 04:41 AM

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

                      1. porker Jul 27, 2012 05:30 AM

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

                        1. u
                          Unkle Al Jul 27, 2012 05:49 AM

                          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
                            linguafood Jul 27, 2012 06:05 AM

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

                            1. re: linguafood
                              PHREDDY Jul 27, 2012 06:28 AM

                              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
                                dingey Jul 27, 2012 07:41 AM

                                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
                                  Bacardi1 Jul 27, 2012 07:48 AM

                                  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
                              tiffeecanoe Jul 27, 2012 07:54 AM

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

                            3. tiffeecanoe Jul 27, 2012 07:49 AM

                              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. s
                                sandylc Jul 27, 2012 09:52 AM

                                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. 1POINT21GW Jul 27, 2012 11:28 AM

                                  Skewer with rosemary sprigs and fry or grill as normal.

                                  1. s
                                    Sarrastia Aug 22, 2012 07:12 AM

                                    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
                                      sunshine842 Aug 22, 2012 07:27 AM

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

                                      Gizzards take a little more cooking to get them tender.

                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        Veggo Aug 22, 2012 07:47 AM

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

                                        1. re: Veggo
                                          sunshine842 Aug 22, 2012 01:21 PM

                                          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
                                            hotoynoodle Feb 12, 2013 10:56 AM

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

                                        2. re: Sarrastia
                                          lemons Aug 22, 2012 07:55 AM

                                          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. LaLa Aug 22, 2012 07:51 AM

                                          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. s
                                            sr44 Aug 22, 2012 01:35 PM

                                            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
                                              HillJ Aug 22, 2012 01:43 PM

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

                                            2. s
                                              SarahInMinneapolis Sep 2, 2012 12:51 PM

                                              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. s
                                                somervilleoldtimer Sep 2, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                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. al b. darned Sep 19, 2012 10:58 PM

                                                  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. porker Oct 2, 2012 05:17 AM

                                                    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. b
                                                      bizkat Oct 29, 2012 02:37 PM

                                                      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. pinehurst Oct 31, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                        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. PotatoHouse Oct 31, 2012 04:51 PM

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


                                                          1. v
                                                            valurna Feb 12, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                            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. s
                                                              somervilleoldtimer Feb 18, 2013 02:27 PM

                                                              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. f
                                                                foodieX2 Feb 18, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                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. MidwesternerTT Feb 18, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                                  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. t
                                                                    tastesgoodwhatisit Feb 18, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                    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. 2
                                                                      2chez mike Mar 29, 2013 05:57 PM

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

                                                                      1. b
                                                                        burkemic99 Jul 29, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                                        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. mucho gordo Jul 29, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                          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. r
                                                                            rjbh20 Jul 29, 2013 06:21 PM

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

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: rjbh20
                                                                              Veggo Jul 29, 2013 07:15 PM


                                                                              1. re: rjbh20
                                                                                LaLa Apr 17, 2014 07:04 AM


                                                                                1. re: rjbh20
                                                                                  DiningDiva Apr 17, 2014 08:21 AM

                                                                                  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. l
                                                                                  Laurs6263 Apr 12, 2014 03:54 PM

                                                                                  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

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