Warm Chicken Liver and Gorgonzola Salad

Chicken Liver and Gorgonzola Salad

The people I know who dislike liver were all traumatized as children by well-meaning cooks who served them liver (most often beef liver) that was overcooked. If you are a liver lover like I am even overcooked liver is edible, but it doesn’t begin to resemble the delicate flavor of mild, creamy chicken livers that have been properly cooked.

Overcooking any type of liver will produce a tough end product that has the unpleasant bitter flavor that has turned off generations of diners. In this recipe, chicken livers are gently sautéed over medium heat until they are still slightly pink in the center. They are served warm over tender baby salad greens and dressed with a simple dressing that’s made in the same pan in which the livers were cooked. The brand of soy sauce is important in this recipe. The Kikkoman brand adds a delicate depth of flavor. A garnish of crumbled gorgonzola cheese adds an extra spark that really plays well with the flavor of the livers.

This recipe is simple, but the end result is really quite delicious.

Chicken Liver and Gorgonzola Salad
1 lb fresh chicken livers
½ cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground coarse black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
6 cups mixed baby salad greens, washed & dried & chilled
1 cup croutons (preferably homemade)
½ cup gorgonzola cheese, coarsely crumbled

Clean the chicken livers by separating each liver and removing the membrane that connects the two halves. Pat dry between paper towels and place into a shallow dish. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick sauté pan. When the pan is hot add the livers but do not crowd the pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Turn livers over and cook another 2-3 minutes (depending on size). It is important to not overcook the livers, they should be cooked through but still very slightly pink in the center. Remove from the pan, reserving the drippings in the pan, and keep warm on a paper towel.

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve the sugar and add to the warm pan that the livers were just cooked in. Gently combine with the oil remaining in the sauté pan.

Arrange the salad greens on serving plates. Place the livers on top of the greens and drizzle the warm pan sauce over all. Garnish with croutons and crumbled cheese. Serve right away. Serves four as a first course or two as a main course salad.

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