Sauteed Chicken Livers with Onion, Bacon and Sage

Chicken livers are not for everyone, but the preparation method and added ingredients in this recipe may win over a few new fans. Bacon and fresh sage are great flavor complements and soaking the livers in milk anywhere from 1 to 12 hours before cooking mellows the strong liver flavor. Serve over Sage-Scented Orzo (recipe follows).

Sauteed Chicken Livers with Onion, Bacon and Sage
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  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb chicken livers
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Trim the chicken livers of any visible fat and sinew and cut the larger pieces in half. Place in a bowl and add the milk to cover. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 12 hours.

Drain the livers, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and pat dry.

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, remove and blot the excess fat with paper towels. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.

If needed, add a little more oil to the pan, then add the chicken livers. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until browned on the outside and rosy pink on the inside, about 4 minutes.

Return the bacon and onion-garlic mixture to the pan. Add the broth and sage and continue cooking, for 1 to 2 minutes more. Grind some additional black pepper over the top if desired and serve over Sage-Scented Orzo (see below).

Makes 4 servings

  • Sage-Scented Orzo
  • 8 ounces orzo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 to 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preparation:
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the orzo and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring frequently until the orzo is thoroughly coated with oil and has developed a rich golden color (do not brown).

Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the sage and cover, leaving the lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has nearly evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Stir in about 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking, adding small amounts of water as needed, until the orzo is tender, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the butter and adjust the seasoning if needed.

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