Saturday, October 07, 2006

We ate their livers with mashed potatoes and a nice Beaujolais

After spending our time in Provence trying to get our fill of foie gras (an impossibility, at least in a week, as it turns out), we set our sights on preparing a less decadent alternative - chicken livers. Although back home in Connecticut it is not uncommon for Laura to spend a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen with her beloved Cuisinart whipping up some paté for Tam's halftime snack, this time we opted for a more holistic approach.

Port-Glazed Chicken Livers with Mustard Mashed Potatoes

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 lb chicken livers*
1/4 cup port

2 large potatoes (we like Yukon Gold)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard (or to taste)

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Peel potatoes if desired, then chop them into large pieces and simmer in salted water until tender.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium heat. When butter has stopped bubbling, add the onions, thyme and some salt, and saute until tender and golder brown. Remove onion mixture to a plate.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to the same pan and put over medium-high heat. Sprinkle livers with salt and pepper and add to pan. Saute until brown on the outside and just cooked but still pink on the inside, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Return onion mixture to pan over medium-high heat, and add port. Stir, scraping up bits on the bottom of the pan, for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Turn heat off, add chicken livers back in and check seasonings.

Mash potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper. Add mustard and stir to combine.

Serve chicken livers over mashed potatoes, and top with walnuts. A salad of sharp mixed greens dressed with a simple vinaigrette makes an excellent accompaniment.

* Elizabeth David suggests soaking chicken livers in milk before using to remove any bitterness. It can't hurt, anyway.

In addition to being quite yummy, this dish has the benefit of being really cheap. On the other hand, this mayn't be the healthiest of meals; as Laura says, "Cooking chicken livers does inspire one to pile on the butter," so it is perhaps best enjoyed upon your return from a bracing walk in Hampstead Heath or some other jaunt-spot of comparable beauty.


Anonymous said...

Excellent recommendation! Chicken livers,onions, leftovers...incomparable breakfast!

Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I may give this a try.
Unce Ed