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.
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… :)