Piri Piri Chicken Livers on Toasted Sourdough Crostini…

5 Jan

I know some of you will have already dismissed this as a dish you’re going to try, simply because you have convinced yourself you ‘don’t like liver’, when in fact it’s the idea of liver that you don’t like. So be brave, give this a go, and I promise you’ll be in for a treat. You can tinker with things a little if you like, (just remember not to add anything too strong or you’ll lose the taste of the livers, and they are the stars of the show!). This is probably my ‘Version 5’, and I think it’s just about there.

Simple ingredients, simple to cook, wonderful taste...

Simple ingredients, simple to cook, wonderful taste…

So, let’s have a look at what you’ll need. It’s a one pan dish, so you’ll need one of those for definate, something big and heavy should do. If you’re not comfortable with your TV Chef frying technique, (you know the one, where you ‘flip’ all the ingredients over in the pan in quick ‘mini pancake toss’ moves), then get yourself a spatula. Other than that, a sharp knife to trim and prep all the ingredients, and you’re good to go.

Pancetta is the posh thing to use, but dry cured streaky bacon is just as good...

Pancetta is the posh thing to use, but dry cured streaky bacon is just as good…

You can get your Chicken Livers fresh or frozen, (I went for a small pot of frozen from Tesco for a ludicrously cheap 50p!). You’ll also need 4 or 5 rashers of dry cured smoked streaky bacon, a few Shallots, a few Forestiere Mushrooms, a clove of garlic, a small red chilli, a few sprigs of fresh Thyme, a slug of white wine, a smidge of mild mustard, (I use Tafelzenf, a cracking German mustard from Bury Market), a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, and to serve it all up, a couple of thick slices of toasted Sourdough loaf.

Fry these off in a searing pan, and transfer to a warm dish...

Fry these off in a searing pan, and transfer to a warm dish…

So before you start, you’ll need to trim the livers into ‘bite sized’ pieces. Sometimes the frozen ones can get a little mulched, (less so the freshly packed ones), but either way there’ll always be enough nice whole, smooth, clean looking ones for a portion, (The rest, you can fry up for an eager Spaniel later!). Slice the mushrooms and chop the garlic, chilli and thyme, and cut the bacon into small pieces. Then in a hot frying pan or skillet, fry off the bacon until it starts to go golden.

Once your bacon has crisped up and taken on a nice golden colour, add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme and chopped chilli. Continue to fry these off for a minute or two, until the are nicely soft. Get a small bowl ready because once everything has softened, you’re going to transfer it all to that, and whack up the heat ready for the stars of the show!

Turn the heat down a tad ... you want them seared, yet pink in the middle...

Turn the heat down a tad … you want them seared, yet pink in the middle…

Ok, once that pan has heated up a little more add a splash of Olive Oil, and then gently lay the pieces of Chicken Liver into the centre. Try and lay them away from you, as they do tend to spit and splash a little. If you’ve got one of those splashguard things to cover your pan, it might be a good idea. Now, the trick here is not to overcook the livers. They need to be slightly pink in the middle, no blood obviously, but a nice rosy pink, (if you cook them too much, they’ll just go a bit tough!). I reckon 3-4 minutes is all they need, flip them over halfway through to make sure both sides take on that nice caramelised look.

If you can't get Tafelzenf, then a dash of Dijon Mustard will suffice...

If you can’t get Tafelzenf, then a dash of Dijon Mustard will suffice…

Almost there my friends! So at this point everything is still technically ‘frying’, which we need to address. Take the small bowl ,(with everything from earlier still nice and warm) and tip it back into the pan. Add about half a teaspoon of mustard and a nice glug of white wine. It should bubble up quite noisily, and start to reduce straight away, so get that sourdough bread under the grill and toast until golden. Keep an eye on the sauce, give it a good shake to work in the mustard, then add a dash of Worcestershire Sauce to finish the whole thing off. Take the pan off the heat whilst you work out what to serve it with! I’d go for a dry white wine, or better still an ice cold beer like Corona,(the fact it comes in a 710ml bottle is just pure coincidence!)

It really is the best way to eat Chicken Livers, in my humble opinion...

It really is the best way to eat Chicken Livers, in my humble opinion…

Et voila ! Put your sourdough crostini together on a large plate, and carefully stack the Livers and everything else on top. Spoon over as much of the rich sauce as you fancy, and give it a little garnish with fresh parsley. Then crack open that beer and enjoy your ‘Peri Peri Chicken Livers on Sourdough Crostini’.

I’ve tried Chicken Livers a few ways, but trust me, this is the best way to eat them. They are so cheap too, so put aside your inhibitions, and your assumptions that you ‘just don’t like them’, dig out your pan, and get cooking !!!

Let me know what you think, please feel free to click on the ‘Like’ button, and share this with your friends via the ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ buttons. If you are on WordPress, then ‘Press’ this (just so I can see what it actually means!). Even better leave a comment, and I promise I will get back to you.

Laters Peeps    FD  :@)

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