31 Jan2011

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I suspect a majority of you just had an involuntary shudder at the thought of eating chicken livers sauteed whole and still just slightly pink inside. Not to worry, I was one with you until yesterday. My mother used to cook chicken liver adobo every once in a while and it was nothing short of REVOLTING. The livers were hard and seriously overcooked, and felt like small pieces of chewy rubber. Being told they were rich in iron did not help one bit. When you actually put the liver your mouth and chewed, it was grainy, sandy and sucked up liquid — or so it seemed to me at the time. I have hated cooked whole chicken livers ever since. I have tried to get over food biases and childhood food quirks like this while maintaining this blog, so I decided to revisit sauteed chicken livers when the time was right.

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Finding organic chicken livers from Pamora farms signaled the “time was right.” I first made two beautiful batches of chicken liver paté (posts on that up soon) which was a nice way to take the livers on in a form I always did like… as a relatively smooth spread. Pamora has superb chickens, and by extension, I presumed they would have wonderful livers. The next trigger occurred when while lazing on a couch in front of the television, I saw an episode of Kylie Kwong cooking and she made this easy and delicious sounding recipe for sauteed organic chicken livers with brandy and butter and served with a salad to cut the richness of the meat. Within 24 hours, I was serving the livers to brilliant reviews from four guests that we had over for dinner. They liked it so much they wiped out the large platter of livers, and used slices of baguette to mop up all the sauce in the serving platter! :)

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So here is the simple recipe of Kylie Kwong. I will warn you not to use a non-stick pan when cooking this. The sugar nearly did not caramelize properly and when I added the tablespoon of water, I had fireworks on the stovetop. It looked much less dramatic, or should I say painful, in her television show. Also, she did not, but I did, soak the cleaned and trimmed livers in milk for an hour before proceeding with the recipe. The milk bath removes impurities from the livers. Just drain well on paper towels before going on with the recipe. When cooking livers, DO NOT OVERCOOK or they will get tough. Slightly pink in the center is ideal.

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As a salad topping, I didn’t have the watercress that Ms. Kwong called for, but I did have FABULOUS wild arugula from Gejo over at Kitchen Herbs Farm as well as brilliant radishes. I loved the way the bracingly acidic lemon dressing on the greens worked with the tender livers and incredibly flavorful sauce. Served with lots and lots of slices of toasted baguette, this was a REAL DISCOVERY and a WONDERFUL TREAT. It had the elegance and depth of flavor of a fancy appetizer, but it was definitely quick, easy and economical to boot. Definitely going to do this again soon. See, chicken liver phobia deleted. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Anne :-) says:

    I think this would work with rice as well. This is the second time you did a recipe inspired by watching Kylie Kwong…the other one is with the corn and green beans I think… :-)

    Jan 31, 2011 | 6:23 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    Anne, gosh, your memory is better than mine! You are right, I did that stir-fry from her other television series. Recipe here. It was good too… need to do it again soon.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 6:25 pm

     
  3. Anne :-) says:

    I tried that with your version…its really good..I just hope I can find a variety of corn with really big kernels so that it will be firm…or maybe I can substitute chickpeas?

    Jan 31, 2011 | 6:34 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Small canned chickpeas might work… leave out the chorizo and it would be a nice vegetarian dish…

    Jan 31, 2011 | 6:52 pm

     
  5. marilen says:

    Yummy! I used to make chicken liver adobo fo myself and our daughter’s Rottweiler – until, she (the daughter) put a stop to it!!

    Jan 31, 2011 | 7:59 pm

     
  6. phil says:

    MM and other readers, if you happen to pass by any Nando’s Restaurant (Portuguese chain) you may wish to try their chicken liver appetizer, the taste of which seems to me almost similar to the recipe in this post. They also serve it with Portuguese roll (which to me also tastes similar to French baguette but softer). They don’t, however, put any vegetable garnishing on top.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 8:23 pm

     
  7. joy says:

    Finally, a recipe worth trying…..I’ve been avoiding chicken livers all my life.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 8:34 pm

     
  8. Junb says:

    I love chicken liver and I do put it in every chicken/meat dish whenever possible such as adobo, tinola, sisig, side dish for chicken rice, and even beef steak style with calamansi and onion… Will try the above version since watercress and radishes are available here.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 8:47 pm

     
  9. millet says:

    everyone loves chicken livers in my family, so this is definitely a must-try.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 9:11 pm

     
  10. tipat says:

    I dislike chicken livers too… let’s see if i can do this without chickening out. BTW, I also saw that episode of Kylie Kwong but maybe because of my aversion to liver, i wasn’t as inspired as you were.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 9:34 pm

     
  11. KUMAGCOW says:

    Sorry but I won’t change my mind about Chicken Livers.. nope.. =/ I still can’t eat it.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 10:20 pm

     
  12. maiylah says:

    i also watched that episode! i prefer the liver to be cooked all the way through, though.
    thanks for the tip about using milk to remove the impurities from the liver. appreciate it!

    Jan 31, 2011 | 10:55 pm

     
  13. Tony Lee says:

    The chicken livers look great and I want to cook some that way soon. I buy Pamora Farms whole chickens from Santi’s but, MarketMan, please tell me where I can buy organic chicken livers from the same source.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 11:26 pm

     
  14. ka_fredo says:

    I’ve always liked chicken liver as long as it wasn’t overcooked. If it was overcooked we just chopped it up and added it to pancit or chopsuey.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 11:54 pm

     
  15. Lava Bien says:

    Yummm! I do let my chicken liver soak in milk for a few hours before cooking and my liver gots to be fresh. I just sautee them in one of my cast iron pans and man is it soooo good.
    I try not to have it much as a man, I have no way of flushing out the excess iron in my system unlike women (they get to flush out some every month). Too much iron for us dudes, not good for the little swimmers hehehehe specially if you still want to propagate.

    Feb 1, 2011 | 12:25 am

     
  16. Winky says:

    Have a funny story about livers! My old college buddy had an eccentric Mom who would have a potful of chicken livers cooked for her poodles. We were sooooo hungry after school one afternoon, and seeing the livers stewing in the kitchen, we sliced and diced some potatoes, green chilies and onions, added some soy sauce and mascovado, and it became dinner for a pack of starving freshmen! And don’t worry, the poodles still got their Pedigree dog food, and a snack of Goldilock’s “plain” mamon. LOL

    Feb 1, 2011 | 12:39 am

     
  17. josephine says:

    LOVE chicken livers. As I’m prone to anaemia this is good. I do a version of this every Saturday night. Never soak the livers, just clean them well, specially any suspicious green bits (bile). I fry pieces of “poitrine fumé” (smoked pork belly) but good smoked bacon will do. In the rendered fat, lots of chopped garlic, then the livers. A high heat caramelises the outside, pinkness is optional inside but as long as they don’t go hard you’re fine. I add grated lemon peel, some herbs (dried are fine – thyme, rosemary, basil…) and a bit of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar at the end to deglaze the pan. Served on a bed of aragula – heaven!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 12:48 am

     
  18. faith says:

    Reading this post at 1AM is sooo bad, as I absolutely love chicken livers! Must try this. Thanks, MM!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 1:06 am

     
  19. Marketman says:

    Josephine, that dish sounds fantastic! Winky, were the dogs allowed to dine at the table with the “masters”? Tony Lee, the livers are available every Saturday and Sunday at the Mercato Centrale in Fort Bonifacio, from the Pamora stall.

    Feb 1, 2011 | 5:34 am

     
  20. jack says:

    we also cook chicken livers should we have the chance but this is the first time i’ve heard about soaking them in milk and i would like to know what kind of milk to be used in soaking them. thanks in advance :)

    Feb 1, 2011 | 5:48 am

     
  21. joyce says:

    pamora farms also sells liver pate at the mercato centrale during the weekends. but this one looks so much more interesting. will give it a try. i generally avoid pink liver, the thought makes me queasy.

    Feb 1, 2011 | 7:28 am

     
  22. joey says:

    Wild arugula! Oh my! I love wild arugula and have been on the look out since Gil Carandang stopped growing it…thanks for the heads up!

    Now, as for livers, I am still dragging my feet over that…although this dish does look and sound good!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 7:39 am

     
  23. mudra says:

    The dish looks delicious but not so sure if am willing to try the chicken liver (any kind of liver for that matter). Not yet. Will probably have this with beef, pork or chicken meat instead. Thanks! =)

    Feb 1, 2011 | 8:43 am

     
  24. nina says:

    MM, i did a similar version to this dish sans the milk soak and brandy. It was still yummy, though.

    josephine, i wanna try your dish… I’m curious about the balsamic vinegar on liver. I love both but never imagined using them together in one dish.

    Feb 1, 2011 | 10:54 am

     
  25. lorna says:

    @ phil…you are right, nando’s resturant do have this liver appetizer. it is sooooo good. parang adobong atay ang lasa. my family and i never fail to order this every time we are in nando’s. they also have good chicken dish. love it!!!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 1:17 pm

     
  26. budji3 says:

    I love chicken livers!!! I dont understand why other peope cant take it… I also love Kylie Kwong. Thanks Marketman, you are my go-to guy for delicious and easy-to-make recipes (you make cooking very effortless)! Mabuhay ka!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 4:37 pm

     
  27. Ley says:

    I love chicken liver! Will definitely try this over the weekend.

    Feb 1, 2011 | 7:24 pm

     
  28. Helen says:

    Love chicken livers… I went to this Arabian Cafe in Sloane Street in London, where they cooked it in Lemon and butter. It was so good…Been looking for it here in Manila. I saw it in the menu of Ziggurat Restaurant but they don’t serve it… : (

    Feb 1, 2011 | 8:13 pm

     
  29. Jaja says:

    love chicken liver! We had chicken liver adobo for dinner :)

    Feb 1, 2011 | 9:54 pm

     
  30. kaye says:

    Love my chicken liver and pork liver!! always cook them pink inside since the kids don’t like tough liver.. now am craving for liver, i make mine marinated overnight in soy sauce, lots of garlic and calamansi, a couple teaspoons of brown sugar and pepper and 1 finely chopped siling labuyo…then cooked on high with little oil & with lots of onion rings… rice and soda! solve na! and not to forget my banana! nakakagutom naman tong post na to…

    Feb 2, 2011 | 10:27 am

     
  31. Bubut says:

    oh i miss nando’s in london where i fondly call it their local version of Max’s because of the logo.

    Feb 2, 2011 | 1:49 pm

     
  32. Bel says:

    Finely chopped chicken livers make great gravy for breaded chicken marinated in milk, salt and pepper. With some cold salad and drinks, and some hot baked potatoes with sour cream, heaven!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 5:13 am

     
  33. lian says:

    Hi MM what would be good alternative to brandy and sherry vinegar. Thanks!!

    Mar 29, 2011 | 12:44 pm

     
  34. DaleIranon says:

    Hi MM, I used to hate liver, actually I still am not a big fan. But there is one liver dish that has destroyed by biases and this is the chicken liver dish at Nandos. The liver is so tender and soft and just perfect for putting on top of warm bread as an appetizer. Have you had the chance to try this dish at Nandos?

    Apr 1, 2011 | 10:55 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    Dalelranon, no, I haven’t eaten at Nandos… lian, use the brandy and sherry vinegar, it’s what makes the dish good…

    Apr 1, 2011 | 11:54 pm

     
 

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