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Sautéed chicken livers, Best technique

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I love to make sauté  chicken livers in butter with onions. I have dry sautéed them and then sprinkled minced garlic to good affect. But I have learned that chicken livers are very delicate and it is easy to make them a little bitter, with too much high heat ? For a few seconds too long ?

I like my livers medium to medium rare. And I like the idea of searing them. Perhaps I am thinking too much in the line of steak or chicken breast, in my pan technique. I do not want them to be at all soggy or over cooked.

Sometimes the simplest dishes can be the hardest

How exactly do you recommend treating the livers, while pan frying.

Sweat the onion or caramelize?

How do I avoid any slightly burnt  or bitter affect?

O' yes, the milk soaking.? Lemon juice ?

 

Alex 

post #2 of 6

I like them seared and medium. I don't soak in milk (never tried). I don't add any onions, only garlic, sometimes thyme if I have some on hand, or parsley just before serving. I like lemon or even a combination of lime and chili. After the initial searing I deglaze with white wine or cognac and cook a little longer - I like my chicken livers not too rare. I wouldn't mind them rare if I was 100% sure of the source and freshness I guess. 

 

Oh and garlic! Of course, some minced garlic. 

 

I also like to serve it on grilled sliced baguette. 

 

BTW apparently you're right about the bitterness: 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post
 

You can avoid bitterness by keeping temps down and not cooking the liver too well done.  You run into problems with most liver after med-rare because it's so lean. 

I'll have to try and cook it less next time. 

post #3 of 6

First and most important step is to clean them thoroughly; remove all veins and the dark thingies if any. Soak in ice-and-ice-cold milk to remove remaining blood and other impurities which will make the livers bitter!

 

This is how I proceed; Fry on very high heat in sunflower oil for just a few minutes. Too long in the pan and you'll end up with disgusting grainy livers! Remove from the pan, reduce the fire to medium, add some chopped shallots (much more refined than onion), let sweat for a while. Deglaze with your choice of fortified wine like portwine or medium cherry,... Add a little chickenstock. Reduce a bit, add a small chunk of cold butter, swirl the pan above the fire. When the butter is dissolved, add livers again and add freshly chopped herbs of your choice.

 

Here served with a risotto;

 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

First and most important step is to clean them thoroughly; remove all veins and the dark thingies if any. Soak in ice-and-ice-cold milk to remove remaining blood and other impurities which will make the livers bitter!

 

This is how I proceed; Fry on very high heat in sunflower oil for just a few minutes. Too long in the pan and you'll end up with disgusting grainy livers! Remove from the pan, reduce the fire to medium, add some chopped shallots (much more refined than onion), let sweat for a while. Deglaze with your choice of fortified wine like portwine or medium cherry,... Add a little chickenstock. Reduce a bit, add a small chunk of cold butter, swirl the pan above the fire. When the butter is dissolved, add livers again and add freshly chopped herbs of your choice.

 

Here served with a risotto;

 


Thank's both of you . How long in the milk soak ? please.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

Soak in ice-and-ice-cold milk to remove remaining blood and other impurities which will make the livers bitter!

 

This is how I proceed; Fry on very high heat in sunflower oil for just a few minutes. Too long in the pan and you'll end up with disgusting grainy livers! Remove from the pan, reduce the fire to medium, add some chopped shallots (much more refined than onion), let sweat for a while. Deglaze with your choice of fortified wine like portwine or medium cherry,... Add a little chickenstock. Reduce a bit, add a small chunk of cold butter, swirl the pan above the fire. When the butter is dissolved, add livers again and add freshly chopped herbs of your choice.

Well it looks like I have to try the soaking in milk thing. I pretty much follow the same cooking steps as you, Chris, except for the chicken stock (I use white wine). I like the idea of using shallots, I'll try that next time! 

 

BTW that risotto looks de-li-cious! Are those beet leaves on top? 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexB View Post
 


... How long in the milk soak ? please.

 

A few hours, soaking timing is not critical at all. Of course, you need to dry the livers before proceeding.

 

FF, the leaves are blood sorrel from my garden.

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