Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Recipe Tuesday: Middle-Eastern Chicken Livers

This past weekend, was one of those which you look forward to for weeks, involving lots of planning when you think everything is coming together really well and then it all falls apart spectacularly.  Saturday was the FA Cup Final, Chelsea vs Arsenal. Being season ticket holders at Chelsea, DH and I managed to secure tickets so went to Wembley.  We lost.  The final score of 2:1 to Arsenal does not do justice to how terrible Chelsea played.  Without some miracle defending in the first half, the score would have been 5:1.

Sunday, the RPG I play in nearly got derailed by a certain participant's sense of humour.  One of our party is schizophrenic.  This person thought it would be funny to wind him up.  It isn't.  It is nasty.  And the GM let him know in no uncertain terms that such behaviour was not tolerable.  But it led us down a rabbit hole, we'd rather have avoided.

Yesterday, was a quiet, pottering around sort of day.  Monday was a bank holiday in the UK, so we slept in and watched far too much pre-recorded TV.   Any hope of attacking the lawn - in desperate need of a mow - or planting out the courgettes was derailed by rain.   Then along came dinner.  Recipe below.  I'd reached the final stage, where you stir in the yoghurt, when I opened the tub that had been lurking in the fridge for a few weeks and realised it was furry.  Definitely growing some sort of white fungi or bacteria.   Help!

DH came to the rescue, popping to the shops at the end of the street, while I switched everything off and stirred like mad to prevent the chicken livers over-cooking while we waited.  

Years ago, I wrote a blog post about chicken livers and I was quite surprised to discover that I hadn't included this recipe in it.  This is the first, non-pate chicken liver dish that I learned to cook.  It originally came from one of those week-by-week compendiums, collect all the parts and build yourself an amazing recipe collection, etc...  (You know the type.).  This is my version:

Middle-Eastern Chicken Livers

Serves 4


2 tablespoons oil/schmaltz 
350g-500g Chicken Livers
1 large onion chopped
150g mushrooms, sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 peppers/capsicum sliced (green or red are best for colour contrast)
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
400ml plain yoghurt
A tablespoon of chopped coriander 

1 teaspoon curry powder (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon flour (plain, self-raising or cornflour will do)

1.5 cups Basmati rice
3 cups boiling water

  1. Put the kettle on to boil for your rice.  Meanwhile, prep all your veg.  When the kettle has boiled, measure your rice into a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add twice as much volume of boiling water, cover and boil for 2 minutes.  Switch off and leave undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  2. Combine the spices in a small ramekin dish.  Stir in a tablespoon or two of water to form a thick paste.
  3. Heat the cooking fat in a deep frying pan.  Fry the onion until it is soft and clear.
  4. Add the mushrooms.   Fry, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom water is almost evaporated then add the garlic and the peppers, stirring occasionally until the peppers have softened.
  5. Decant the veggies into a bowl.  Return the frying pan to the heat, add a little more oil if necessary.  Turn the heat down.  Spread the chicken livers over the hot surface.  Fry until browned on all sides and the livers are firm.  (Be gentle with the heat or they will toughen.)
  6. Return the veggies to the pan.  Add your spices and fry until the aroma rises.  Stir in the yoghurt, Worcestershire sauce and the carrots.  Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  7. Scatter over the coriander and serve.  Enjoy


  • If you keep kosher, this works with soy-based non-dairy "yoghurt".
  • If you keep kosher and kosher your livers with flame before cooking with them, skip step 5.  Add your spices to the frying vegetables, then stir in the livers and proceed as per step 6 above.
  • I use home made curry powder, aka "Curry Powder Number 1".  In a small spice jar mix:  1 teaspoon of ground chilli, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and the seeds from 6 green cardamom pods.  Put the lid on tight and shake vigorously to blend.  This is Curry Powder Number 1.

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