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.
* 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.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
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
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.