Nov 3, 2010

Family Favorite: Chicken Livers

Should I consider it a Real Food milestone when my teenage daughter becomes quite irritable because I can’t get the chicken livers made before she has to leave for her babysitting job (or just another day in the life of a mother of teens)?

My 16 year old was enthusiastic when she saw that I was fixing chicken livers for dinner. She said, “I could eat liver every day.” We then realized she only had 15 minutes before she had to leave for her job. Enthusiasm quickly flew out the window. This meant she would have to eat some leftovers from the refrigerator instead. She was NOT happy.

I agreed to save her some liver, but liver is considerably better fresh out of the pan then reheated. So this meal was badly planned on my part.

Meal planning is a skill I have been working on lately. As many of you know, it is difficult to plan around the schedules of family members. We try to have a “sit down” family meal on most nights of the week, but are not always successful. Sometimes, like last night, I’m just trying to hand off some Real Food as they go by, hoping they will be full enough to resist the junk food likely to be found at their destination. (Since my daughter's destination last night was Julie's house, we can assume there was no "junk food risk factor.")

I’m planning a future post to share some ideas that may be helpful in real food meal planning. (As you have heard the saying, “those who can’t, teach”). In the meantime, you might want to try some nutrient-dense chicken livers. You never know, they might become a family favorite:

Pan-fried Chicken Livers:


1 pound of pastured chicken livers
1 cup flour (I use sprouted wheat flour.)
1 tsp. Real Salt (or another brand of unrefined sea salt)
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper (freshly ground pepper aids in digestion)

Marinate thawed livers in lemon juice for a few hours. (I generally use a mixture of water and lemon juice in order to have enough liquid to cover the livers). The lemon juice helps make the liver flavor more mild.

Drain the livers well.

Mix together flour, salt, and pepper. You can also add some garlic powder, onion powder, or whatever seasonings you like.

Roll the livers in the flour mixture (or put in a baggie and shake ‘em up).

Heat several tablespoons of pastured hog lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, or coconut ghee in your cast iron skillet on medium.

Put the livers in a single layer in the skillet. Brown them on each side.

I leave my livers pretty pink. This makes them very tender and helps preserve the nutrients. (Overcooked liver is tough.)

The livers can be eaten as is (the way my kids like them), or with hot sauce, or with gravy and biscuits.

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet DictocratsI use the recipe on page 484 of Nourishing Traditions for buttermilk biscuits. After removing the livers from the skillet, I fill the bottom of the skillet with milk and scrape up all the tasty little brown pieces off the bottom of the skillet. The gravy could be thickened with some cornstarch or flour, but I just leave it runny. When the milk is heated, we pour it over the liver and biscuits.

Here’s a link to a good article on liver that will make you want to try it.  And Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist, posted a chicken liver pate recipe last week that looks yummy.

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  1. Great post! It brought back memories of a dish my Mom used to make using chicken livers, slivered almonds and soy sauce. And how wonderful your daughter loves healthy food that much!

  2. I'd love to try making them. 100% going to try it out this week. Thanks. . .

  3. I have done it!!!! I have successfully eaten liver withOUT feeling the urge to gag it back up. Granted, I slathered it in steak sauce, so that probably negated some of the nutrition, but I'm going to be on the lookout now for a good lacto-fermented ketchup to replace the steak sauce. THEN I can drown the liver all I want and not feel badly about it. Thanks for posting the recipe!



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