Chicken Liver with Balsamic Vinegar and Date Syrup, with Israeli Couscous

Chicken livers, much like other offal, are not very popular cooking ingredients these days – most probably because they require some preparations before using. It is a shame, as chicken livers are highly nutritious, with high content of heme iron, folate, B and A vitamins. On top of their nutritional value, they are also very tasty, with a strong “meaty” flavor, and, unlike other offal, they cook very quickly. (In fact, it is important not to overcook them, as otherwise their texture will turn grainy and dry.)
In the dish here, I added my favorite combination of Balsamic vinegar and date syrup to the livers, as the addition of slight acidity and sweetness mellow the strong, almost metallic, flavor the livers have (due to the high iron content). Lightly caramelized onions also added their slight sweetness and their unique texture to the dish. Served over Israeli couscous, this tasty dish makes for a whole meal in itself. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* Though highly nutritious, it’s important to remember that liver is an organ that processes toxins. So, for best results, use only best quality fresh organic livers, preferably air-chilled.
* The thorough cleaning may not be for the squeamish, but it is easier and quicker than it seems, and it’s the best way to ensure that the livers are as clean as they should be.
* Israeli couscous is actually a type of toasted pasta that is at its best when cooked like rice. So make sure to follow the instructions, rather than cook it in boiling water, as any other pasta. This way of cooking will result soft, yet separated grains.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
For the fried onions:
1 Tbs oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground forum peppers mix
For the Israeli couscous:
2 tsp oil
¾ cup Israeli Couscous
1 tsp salt
1½ cups water
For the livers:
18oz (510 grams) organic, air-chilled fresh chicken livers
1 Tbs oil
2 tsp good quality Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp date syrup
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
For serving:
Chopped scallions

1. The onions: in a large pan, mix the oil, onions, salt and pepper. Fry over medium-high heat, mixing occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and start to caramelize. Transfer to a bowl and clean the pan.

2. The Israeli couscous: In a medium pot, mix the oil, Israeli couscous, salt and half the amount of the fried onions. Mix and fry for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and cover the pot tightly. Cook for 10 minutes and turn the heat off. Keep in the pot, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

3. The livers: with a small sharp knife, remove the connective white membranes from the livers. Cut into quarters and discard any blood or discolored parts. Place in a colander, wash with cold water and let drain.

4. Pour 1 Tbs oil into the pan and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cleaned livers and fry, mixing gently occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the livers start to change color. Add the Balsamic vinegar, date syrup, salt and pepper, and mix. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the livers are done. (Cut one to check: they should be pinkish in the center). Using a perforated spoon, transfer the livers to a bowl and keep in a warm place. Cook the liquid for 2-3 minutes, to reduce ant thicken it. Add back the livers and the remaining fried onions to the pan, mix and taste to adjust seasoning if needed. Cook for 1 minute over high heat before serving.

5. Divide the Israeli couscous between servings bowl. Add the livers on top and garnish with the scallions before serving.

42 thoughts on “Chicken Liver with Balsamic Vinegar and Date Syrup, with Israeli Couscous

  1. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    I use to make liver and onions (with bacon) for my hubby and I use to make chicken liver pate, but my tastes have changed over the years. Now, I don’t think I could enjoy them but the way you have flavored the chicken livers is a big improvement on the way I use to fix them :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rini says:

    It is a shame that liver isn’t popular. The textures, the nutrients, etc…people are missing out! Plus when it’s prepared properly, it’s so good, like this dish you have prepared. It looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. judilyn says:

    This looks very enticing! I used to make them similarly, but without the balsamic – I wasn’t aware of this product back then – in a mushroom/onion-laden gravy, and over wide egg noodles. DH’s compromised immune system precludes such foods these days, but it was a definite fave in the past. All kinds of liver, for that matter, is delicioso! ;-> Woe!

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Liked by 1 person

  4. judilyn says:

    For workplace holiday repasts, I always brought backon-wrapped chicken liver/water chestnut appetizers. They were a huge hit. This was back in the day when onion soup mix and sour cream with plain potato chips was considered pretty darned exotic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. judilyn says:

    Oh, right – rumaki! I had forgotten there was actually a name for it. Thanks for the brain jog!

    I mix sour cream with bruschetta or frozen seasoned avocado pulp (when out of season) these days. Or use in mashed potatoes and Strogonoff-y things. I love the little “bite” it gives to perk up something just a smidge.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. chef mimi says:

    This is wonderful. I’m a huge liver fan, of all varieties. I’ve always wanted to make a torchon, but then I’d have to eat the whole thing by myself! I’ve never used date syrup – what would be a good substitute?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Mimi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I’m familiar with what you’ve described – not everyone is a fan… Though when I cooked in a restaurant in Vermont, my foie gras dish (pan fried, over grilled pineapple, with a reduction of spiced red wine and maple syrup) was quite a hit. :)
      As for date syrup, you can substitute with maple syrup or honey. Though I recommend looking for it, as it has wonderful flavor.

      Like

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