Saturday, 8 November 2008

Vaguely Middle Eastern Chicken Livers

NAME: _Vaguely Middle Eastern Chicken Livers

300g - 500g chicken livers, fresh as possible
2 -3 tbsp olive oil and grapeseed oil mix
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
sml handful stringless beans
3 - 4 brussel sprouts
1 - 2 small pickling onions
1 tsp palm or date vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp buckwheat flour (See Notes)
Dusting mix:
2 tbsp buckwheat flour (See Notes)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tbsp dried ground coriander seed
1 tsp celery seeds (optional)
1 tbsp dried thyme or za'tar
2 tbsp dried onion flakes

Place everything under the "Dusting Mix" section in a blender and blend to dust.  Set aside.

Take the stringy veins out of the livers, i.e. cut the livers either side of that bit.  Give the cat the stringy bits it will love you for it...  Cut larger lobes in half.  Place the livers in a plastic bag or a bowl with the dusting mix and coat well, turn out onto a cutting board or plate while doing the vegetables.

Prepare the vegetables - make crescents of the onion by cutting lengthways, cut stems from brussels and remove unsightly outer leaves, and quarter them lengthways.  Cut beans to approximately same length as brussels.

Preheat the oil mix in a good frypan, place as many livers in the pan as will fit single layer and allow to brown on one side. (Takes 3 - 5 minutes, longer if you'd like to have more crispiness.)  Turn over and do the other side.

Start the rice in the water and salt, and when it starts to boil, allow to simmer fast until all water is absorbed, turning down the heat towards the very end. This will take about as long as processing all those livers.  (Allow rice to stand after all water is absorbed, for a fluffier lighter rice.  Trust me, this works without sticking to the pot or going gluggy provided you make sure you keep the temperature to a low simmer and watch for the water to almost all steam away before turning off the heat.)

Once all livers have been cooked and set aside, put the prepared vegetables in the same pan, toss for about three to five minutes in a hot pan.  Add  the teaspoon of flour, stir into vegetables, and then add about a third of the chicken stock, slowly so it steams the vegetables.  Add the palm vinegar, and the rest of the stock, allow to simmer for up to five minutes, until brussels are tender.


Lay rice on plate, pile livers on top.  Add vegetables to the side, along with some of the stock.  Serve with side dishes as noted in the next section.  Should serve two very well.

Buckwheat flour tastes nice in this but you can use ordinary white flour or wholemeal in a pinch.  The less processed the flour, the better the flavour and the better for you.

Things to add to this dish are things like green olives simply processed in brine, a few wedges of tomato, some crescents of pickled onion, flat bread like khobs or lebanese bread.

Liver is inordinately nutritious and good for you, and this recipe makes it a super-tasty meal.  Even naughty big kids have been known to eat liver this way...

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