Once upon a time, this girl didn’t like liver. No, make that couldn’t stand liver, rather. Hated the stuff. Gagged on it, even.
But then she learned that liver was absolutely mega-super-good for her body, one of the most nutritious foods that she could ever put in it, in fact. So she vowed to herself that she would convince her brains to learn to at least pretend to like the stuff, so she could incorporate it to her diet two to three times a month.
But then, the strangest thing happened: not only did she eventually learn to like it, but she in fact started to love and even crave this superfood.
Ha! That did not happen overnight, though, for I must admit that liver is an acquired taste. The first time I prepared it, it really wasn’t all stars and rainbows for me, let me tell you. I had to really force myself to finish my plate that night.
When prepared right, liver can be quite delicious, you know. If you aren’t sold on the idea yet, I honestly think that this salad is a very good place to start.
One of the key rules to always keep in mind when preparing liver is that you absolutely can not overcook it. If you do, it’ll become dry and grainy and real tough to chew. Not good, not good at all! But cook it just right and it’ll stay soft and tender and super juicy for you.
Pair it with the right ingredients and it’ll become a real treat to eat, I swear. Maybe not the first time, or the second, or even third. But eventually, it will…
So make sure you cook your chicken livers over very high heat. Sear them for only 45 seconds to one minute per side, until they get nice and brown and crispy on the exterior but remain slightly pink on the interior.
Remove your chicken livers to a plate and add the apples, onion, salt and pepper to the pan.
Don’t be afraid to add more fat if you need to (ghee adds so much depth and richness to this dish, just saying…) and cook over medium heat until both the onions and apple wedges start to caramelize and take a nice golden coloration, about 5 minutes total.
Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar and then add the raisins, hazelnuts and rosemary. Stir to combine, then add chicken livers and their juices back to the skillet.
Give this one final stir, kill the heat, cover and allow to rest for about 5 minutes, to finish cooking the liver.
Now seriously, can you honestly say that this doesn’t look yummy?
I’m telling you, the intensity, depth and variety of flavors that you get with each bite is simply mind blowing. Between the soft sweetness of the apples, the delicate nuttiness of the caramelized onions, the crunchy earthiness of the toasted hazelnuts and the tangy kick of the vinegar, you almost forget about the fact that there is actually *gasp* liver on your plate.
To serve, divide a bunch of mixed greens and endive leaves between two plates and arrange the chicken livers and apples over that beautiful bed of greens.
Top with a generous drizzle of that delicious Creamy Hazelnut Vinaigrette and dig right in!
I’m telling you, if this salad doesn’t make you a believer, nothing will!
As for me, I think it’s time I tackled other organ meats, like tongue and heart for instance. I have a few of those in my freezer that have been patiently waiting their turn. I say they deserve my attention at long last…
Then it’ll be smoked herrings and sardines’ turn.. Surely I can make them into something fun and delicious to eat and get them Omega 3s in me, dontcha think?
Surely I can…
- 1-2 tablespoons cooking fat of your choice (ghee, lard or coconut oil preferred)
- 400g chicken livers (from properly raised chickens, please!)
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large red apple, cut into 12-16 wedges
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ raw hazelnuts
- ¼ cup organic raisins
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 10 endive leaves
- Rinse the chicken livers under cold running water. Drain well, pat dry and remove white connective tissue, if any; season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Set a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron preferred) with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking fat over high heat.
- When the pan is really nice and hot, add the chicken livers and sear for about 45 seconds to one minute per side, just long enough for them to get a beautiful dark brown and crispy exterior but remain slightly pink on the interior.
- Remove the liver to a plate and add the apples, onions, salt and pepper to the pan. Add more fat if necessary and cook over medium heat until both the onions and apple wedges start to caramelize and take a nice golden coloration, about 5 minutes total.
- Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar and then add raisins, hazelnuts and rosemary. Stir to combine, then add chicken livers and their juices back to the skillet. Give this one final stir, kill the heat, cover and allow to rest for about 5 minutes, to finish cooking the liver.
- Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
- Divide the mixed greens and endive leaves between two plates and arrange the chicken livers and apples over the bed of greens.
- Drizzle with the creamy hazelnut dressing and serve immediately.