Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chicken Liver Made Easy

This is directly related to the just-previous chicken dinner post. For any chicken dinner I cook I purchase Mary's Air-Chilled Chicken, usually from the El Cerrito Natural Grocery just around the corner from my home. And every time I open the wrapping there is a small bag of gizzards that comes with the chicken including at least one liver (sometimes even a couple). 
Here's a great take on preparing the liver since it is useless for stock and we don't want to throw good food away right? :-)

Liver seasoned liberally with salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Cooking over high heat in the iron skillet
Ta-da! Darkly-seared outside, deliciously pink inside
Dude, this is poor man's foie gras!

1 (or 2) chicken livers
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper

Pick up the liver and with reflection from the light you should notice a somewhat shiny reflection coming off of it. This is from the extremely thin membrane that covers the liver, and like with pork ribs, you want to remove as much of it as possible before cooking.
I do this by using a paper towel to rub the membrane off, going around the liver to pull as much as possible. It's a little tricky the first time you do this but you'll get much better at it with a little practice if my personal experience is any guide. (this may be worth my making a video as demonstration) Season the liver well with the salt and pepper.
Heat an iron skillet over high heat then add the butter with the oil to melt. Once the foam from the butter has dissipated add the liver to cook undisturbed on one side for one minute. Flip the liver over to cook for one minute more then immediately remove from the pan.
The idea behind this is to sear the outside in the oil and butter very quickly without overcooking the inside, leaving it pink as in the photo. Very tasty.

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