Good food needn’t be fancy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. And a quickie can be as satisfying as a three hour gastronomic romp. Chicken livers are one of the cheapest morsels of protein available and are every bit as tasty as the rest of the chicken so long as you’re not eating them on a daily basis. At roughly a tenth of the cost of a chicken breast they’re amazing value that I am keen to take advantage of more often.
Apart from chicken liver pate, the only other recipe that has caught my attention has been Mark Hix’s chicken livers on toast – which only just qualifies as a recipe rather than a composition. But it’s bloody tasty. Especially if you go a bit off piste add a dollop of still warm super-rapido-lingonberry-jelly.
Handful of chicken livers, cleaned and roughly chopped 50g butter 1 big shallot or half an onion 1 small clove of garlic Salt and pepper Sourdough for toasting (I used a couple of slices of a great walnut sourdough) Cress Handful of frozen or fresh lingonberries 100ml water Dollop of honey
Bring the water to the boil and add the berries. When they have simmered and softened pass them through a sieve to remove the skins and pips. Then return to the pan and reduce to a syrup and add the honey as necessary to temper the tartness. It’s best to do this stage before you start with the livers. It doesn’t take long but it gives the syrup time to cool and jelly-ify.
Fry the shallot and garlic until soft. Then season the chopped and cleaned livers with plenty of salt and pepper and then fry in the butter for around 4–5 minutes until they are still pink but cooked.
Remove from the pan and then attack with your best cook’s knife until the mixture is finely chopped. Then taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Keep the livers warm whilst you make your toast.
Butter the toast and dollop the mixture on top. Sprinkle over some cress and dress with the lingonberry syrup which will probably have turned to a runny jelly by now. Grind over some pepper and sprinkle over some smoked salt and tuck in.
This recipe came from Mark Hix’s Oyster and Chop House book, which I will be taking inspiration from for a few posts in the near future. The lovely people at Quadrille sent it to me a while ago.
I’m keen to experiment with chicken livers and move beyond smearing them on toast, so if you’ve got any great ideas which don’t involve making it into a pate please let me know! If they are Scandinavian recipes you get a special mystery prize.
We still love to go on trips around the UK, staying in BnBs or camping in search of a good meal or two - hence, Around Britain with a Paunch. Quite often the trips have been prompted by Diana Henry's Gastro Pub Cookbook. Here's where we've been to: