25 Sep2013

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I wasn’t a fan of chicken livers as a kid. Not at all. But as an adult, I am finding them more and more appealing, if properly cooked and not those rubbery, hard and sandy tasting nuggets you often find in restaurant or carinderias these days. Bad examples make me think of eating large pencil erasers with sauce. :) I did a great Kylie Kwong recipe for sauteed chicken livers a couple of years ago, and have used that recipe several times since. Today, for an office lunch, I was trying to figure out an easy, nutritious and economical dish to make and ended up with this platter of sauteed chicken livers with lechon “gravy” that was wiped clean in minutes. Definitely a successful experiment.

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But first, the “lechon” gravy. We had a gallon of fresh lechon drippings and cooking fat and I took some of the drippings (extremely salty), added some of the lechon fat, heated this all up, added a slurry of cornstarch and water, then lots of lechon broth and made a simple lechon “gravy”. We had roughly a half gallon of this and started using it with homemade fried chicken fingers, some deep-fried livers, etc. The next day, I thought I might try a simple chicken liver saute, and here’s how you do it. Buy a kilo of chicken livers from a trusted source. I couldn’t get organic in Cebu, so I settled for Magnolia brand chicken livers from the grocery. Roughly PHP120 worth, or just over a kilo in weight. Next, trim the livers of attached fat or muscle, and if you desire, soak them in fresh milk to help extract any impurities in the liver. Let them soak for an hour or so, then rinse and dry on paper towels. In a large saute pan, add 5-6 tablespoons of lard, sliced onions (two medium size), 8 cloves of garlic minced, 1/4 teaspoon of homemade siling labuyo or chili flakes and saute for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the chicken livers and saute for 4-6 minutes over relatively high heat until they are about half-cooked. Add in 3 cups of lechon gravy and bring back to a simmer, lower the heat, and let this cook for another few minutes. The goal was to have “just-cooked” livers, not hardened knobs all the way through. Season with salt and pepper if necessary (my gravy was very salty) and put on a large platter and serve hot. These were tender, tasty, saucy and perfect with lots of rice. The next time you have leftover beef or chicken or turkey gravy, you may want to try this recipe for chicken livers… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Khew says:

    Perhaps you might want to use chicken livers instead of fish in that Cha Ca La Vong. I think it’s going to work amazingly well. After all, chicken liver salad is a French classic.

    Sep 25, 2013 | 6:15 pm

     
  2. Lee says:

    A friend told me a story of butcher in Bacolod who loves to stab/puncture a leaning lechon and catch the drippings in his plate of rice. Ouch.

    Sep 25, 2013 | 9:28 pm

     
  3. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Wow

    Sep 25, 2013 | 11:38 pm

     
  4. Rob says:

    “I was trying to figure out an easy, nutritious and economical dish to make…”

    Nutritious?

    That “lechón” gravy (delicious as it may sound) kind of kills it, doesn’t it?

    Sep 26, 2013 | 6:12 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Rob, yes, I suppose this isn’t a vegetable dish, but the liver is very high in iron and other minerals and vitamins, one of life’s “superfoods” and the gravy whilst salty, was made with just some of the lechon fat and lots of homemade lechon broth with no msg or other preservatives. So perhaps this doesn’t quite meet the “healthy” but it is “nutritious”… Or at least we’d like to think that is so. :)

    Sep 26, 2013 | 6:32 am

     
  6. Khew says:

    The general public needs to understand that ingested fat and cholesterol does not make one fat and have high cholesterol. There are other factors involved. Cholesterol is not the cause of arterial blockage, it is the symptom. Cholesterol accumulates there because it is the body’s ‘band-aid’ (plaque) over inflamed arteries. Inflammation of the arteries is caused by chronically exposing the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process. Such foods include unnatural, processed low fat products, those high in polyunsaturated fats and simple, highly processed carbohydrates. Excessive consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower found in many processed foods is the silent killer, not butter, lard or coconut. The more inflaming foods are consumed, the more “frayed and fragile” arteries become, the more plaque builds up. The public has been fooled for far too long and sadly still is.

    Sep 26, 2013 | 9:40 am

     
  7. EJ says:

    Khew, your point about polyunsaturated fats is interesting. Don’t they become harmful only under certain conditions, eg, oxidisation?

    Sep 28, 2013 | 7:14 pm

     
  8. Khew says:

    EJ, these fats are not very stable and most of the time, they are consumed cooked and thus become oxidised and destabilised. The splatter from such oils form a rubbery gunk on kitchen surfaces when they’re left to cool and not cleaned away immediately. Imagine what happens when they’re in our bodies.
    The only time I use such oils is when making mayonnaise, ie, uncooked. Even then, only sunflower oil and it’s usually a hit and miss affair as at times the oil smells oxidised or with a not so palatable odour. Corn oil seems to be the most neutral of all, while soyabean oil smells of paint at times. Then there’s that questionable rice bran oil and don’t even get me started on canola. One wonders how raw materials which are so obviously not oily can produce so much oil at such reasonable prices. Shouldn’t they be even more expensive than olive oil?
    A relatively good write-up: http://www.thenutritiondebate.com/2011/07/nutrition-debate-21-dangers-of.html
    As a general rule, avoid whatever that needs a lot of engineering. Simple as that.

    Sep 29, 2013 | 3:41 pm

     
  9. EJ says:

    Thanks for your info, Khew.

    Oct 1, 2013 | 12:22 am

     
  10. Walter says:

    I love chicken livers. In a recent trip to visit a friend in Sydney, I went to a Szechuan restaurant and ordered a plate of it. Saw the chef prepare the livers: fresh (at least they look fresh) and patted dry with a paper towel. Sauteed on very high heat, salt and pepper, lots of dried chillies. No more than a minute and it was ready. And delicious!

    Oct 2, 2013 | 7:36 pm

     

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