Chicken liver is the ultimate in love/hate cuisine. For good reason, these dark, iron rich organs illicit extreme feelings one way or another. People either love them or despise them with often little emotion in between. I notice, however, the more people become aware of their food, the more important it becomes to utilizing the entire animal and respecting each part as useful. A chicken is more than simply its breasts. There are other parts that deserve proper attention and perhaps none more respecting than liver? After all, it’s not like we’re eating tripe!
A couple important notes:
- The liver does not store toxins
- Not all liver is created equal
Liver is actually a neutralizer and processor of toxins and does not act as a storage bin, so eating liver is not going to fill your body with harmful toxins. Nice try though. Liver must also be cooked properly to combat unusual textures, so a proper preparation doesn’t hurt the cause here either. Most importantly, different animal liver has different strength of flavors. Maybe start with milder types like chicken liver and work your way up to heartier, stronger types like beef liver? Or mix it with a LOT of butter and cream. That’s the French way.
The French know what they’re doing when it comes to utilizing the entire animal and have, in my opinion, perfected liver applications. I tend to like my chicken liver pan fried and blended with plenty of butter and cream into a savory, smooth pate. With my leftovers from making this pate, however, I plan on making dirty rice which uses liver less as the leading actress and more as a supporting role. Might be a good place to start if you’re scared.
The positive news about chicken liver, yes there is more – it’s economical. A pound and half of chicken liver at Publix was $3.69 (they were organic too). The livers should be odorless and a bright, dark red color when you open the package. They are a little slippery but should be in tact and should be soft yet firm to the touch. After proper inspection, place them into a colander and rinsed thoroughly. I don’t usually soak chicken livers in milk as it tends to strip too much of the flavor from them. I reserve the soak method, instead, for beef liver, because it’s much more pungent than chicken livers. Finally, cut away any connective tissues and pat dry for pan frying.Print
What am I, Chopped Liver?
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: French
- 14–16oz cleaned chicken livers
- 2 large shallots minced
- 1 small sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh Thyme leaves
- 1.5 ounces of Calvados Brandy (can also use Cognac – I try to keep it French)
- 9 tablespoons of butter (unsalted French butter)
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and onions until soft and until the outer edges began to caramelize.
Add Calvados and either flambe (make sure you have your fire extinguisher handy JUST in case) or cook down until alcohol has mostly evaporated out (much safer method).
Transfer to a food processor – add thyme, butter, cream and allspice. combined until nice and creamy. Add salt to taste.
I recommend pushing the completed mixture through a course strainer to remove any bits and to ensure a super creamy finished texture. It’s a little messy but worth the time.
Put pate in your favorite ramekin, wrap in plastic wrap with the wrap touching the pate and refrigerate over night.
Serve with crusty French baguette and crudités.
They can be frozen also for future enjoyment
Keywords: Pâtè, chicken liver, butter, calvados