Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chicken Liver and Onions

I used to think chicken liver was gross.  Then, I butchered some chickens, and now I know chicken liver is gross!  It's squishy and pink, and attached to the intestines by a green sac of bile. Totally gross (in a very fascinating way).  But here's the thing, everything about a chicken is gross in that way.  I never thought drumsticks were gross, or chicken wings, but now that I've severed the tendons in a chicken knee to create a drumstick, and pulled the giant wing feathers from the edge of the chicken wing, I know just how gross a bucket of KFC really is.  Trust me, chicken liver isn't any grosser than the rest of it, and KFC tastes mighty good.  

There's something about harvesting my own chicken liver that makes it more palatable too.  Not only did I observe the heath of the entire bird, including all of it's organs, I know I was extra careful when butchering, which is probably why I can't eviscerate a chicken in three seconds like they can do at a processing plant.   And because of all the trouble it takes to raise a chicken and butcher it, I feel just greedy enough to investigate how to prepare chicken liver in a way that Brandon and I will enjoy, so I don't waste any of that effort.  

My mother claims that my brothers and I liked chicken liver when were were little kids, and that we actually preferred the soft texture to other meats.  I'm not sure a what age we all decided it was gross, but I'm guessing it was around the time we were big enough to open the refrigerator and see the gross styrofoam cup of shiny raw pink organ.  If you asked Brandon if he liked chicken liver before last year, he would be also be very adamant that it was gross too.  I'm beginning to think the gross factor of chicken liver is directly related to age, because when I started to survey my friends, I realized that everyone my age or younger got the same disgusted look on their face when I mentioned chicken liver, and then would proceed to tell me about some older relative who actually liked liver, which they were using as evidence of this person's obvious derangement. 

Having lots of chicken liver in my freezer has encouraged me to cook some.  I tried chicken liver pot pie, which was good, and a way for us to get a taste for it when it was disguised as little chunks mixed with lots of other ingredients.  I chopped it up very fine and put it in the thanksgiving gravy last year, and no one complained.   Then, I sauteed some vegetables and cooked small pieces of liver in the same skillet.  We liked it.  So last week, I bravely made the classic liver and onions, by dredging the liver in flour and browning them in butter.  These were obviously livers.  A lot of liver, actually.  Final verdict?  The opposite of gross!  Delicious.  We even looked forward to the leftovers.   I think we have officially graduated to the deranged older person liver lover category.  I can't wait to tell my nieces and nephew! 


Anonymous said...

Now I know what to request if we ever see you guys again over a meal! Actually, I have a good amount of lamb liver that I need to use up. I never seem to fry it right: either too dry or not done enough. What's your secret?


rain said...

I've never tried lamb liver. I've never tried any kind of liver other than chicken, but now that I've joined the club, I'm ready to try it. I read that the secret to liver is not to over cook it. I think it's hard to know when it's done since it's naturally pink.

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