I know that many of you will have previously avoided offal, most likely limiting your intake to consumption of pate. I would however really encourage everyone to try and include more offal in their diet; liver, kidney, heart and other animal organs from organically raised, grass-fed animals are some of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat; not to mention some of the cheapest.
Chicken livers are an ideal first step towards introducing more offal into your diet. Buy fresh livers and they will be whole, rather than a tub of mush. To this end, only buy chicken livers that you can clearly see what you are buying. With whole livers you may have to do a little preparation but the result will be far more satisfactory. Much of the inherent distaste of offal, indeed many of the foods we consider we don’t like, is about texture rather than taste; buying livers that are firm and intact will go a long way toward rectifying this.
This salad is a great introductory dish, in which the chicken livers are kept to a minimum. Cut small, they are fried with spices to create little bites of fragrant meat. Cubes of sweet potato are actually the perfect companion, and create a soft round comforting background to the savoury livers. Tossed in a bowl of fresh leaves, with added spring onion for a little bite and juicy pomegranate seeds for a sweet/sour edge, the whole thing is then dressed with pomegranate juice and some good balsamic vinegar.
A few things to note…
Chicken livers can be delicate and you should avoid pushing them around the pan too much or they will break up. There are many recipes for chicken livers which taste great when some of the livers are broken down to help create a little sauce; this is not one of them. We want to keep the pieces in tact so be gentle!
Chicken livers should be slightly pink in the middle, and until you are comfortable cooking them, and eating them, then the best way to check is by cutting a piece open. Do not let them overcook as they will become rubbery and bitter.
When preparing the chicken livers you will need to start by cutting away the membranous parts in the centre. You will then be left with the lean pieces from the outside. Cut these into smaller pieces of about half an inch for this recipe.
Moroccan Chicken Liver Salad
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
1 tbsp goose fat
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
200g fresh chicken livers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red onion, sliced
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 bag salad leaf
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds and juice
1 tbsp sweet balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the chicken livers (see above) so that they are in 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Heat the fat in a frying pan and cook the sweet potato over a low heat until cooked through.
3. Remove the sweet potato, set aside, and add the red onion to the frying pan.
4. Fry the red onion, with a pinch of salt, over a medium heat until soft and translucent.
5. Add the livers to the frying pan, with the garlic, and gently cook for about 5 minutes.
6. About halfway through the cooking time, add the spices, and then continue to fry.
7. When the livers are cooked, add the sweet potato back to the pan to reheat.
8. Take off the heat and toss the liver and sweet potato mixture in a bowl with the leaves.
9. Add the pomegranate seeds and spring onion and mix together well.
10. Mix equal parts of pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar, drizzling over as a dressing.
11. Finally, a flourish of fresh mint and then serve.
Have you discovered 12 Weeks to Change Your Life?
Sign up to receive our FREE eBook with information on how the Paleo diet can help you to lose weight PLUS sample recipes…