From the Midwest

From The Midwest

From The Midwest
North Carolina,
September 29
Never Give Up! Never Doubt Goodness and that Includes YOU!
Former English teacher-artist from the Midwest and just another statistic of "The Great Recession." Life goes on . . .


FEBRUARY 15, 2012 9:42AM

Chicken Livers with Pasta

Rate: 12 Flag



Chicken livers. Either you love 'em or you hate 'em.



"Liver" is one of those words with which we have a love/hate relationship. I had my first chicken livers when I worked in a restaurant during high school. I loved 'em. The texture was silky and luxurious. They were simply paired with onions and paprika. In this recipe, I use smoked paprika, bacon, brandy and a bit of hot sauce. Served with a garlicky pasta, it's a classic but inexpensive meal.





For the "bacon," I used sliced and smoked hog jowl. If you use bacon, it should be a bit on the thick side.


  • 1/3 cup chopped "bacon"
  • 8 oz. chopped onion
  • 12 oz chicken livers (about 8, which have been cut in half for a total of 16)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed and divided
  • 8 oz. vermicelli
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4-8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • butter and olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Flour

 Rinse livers well removing fat and gunky parts. Cut in half. Allow to drain in a colander.


Cut bacon into matchsticks. Slice onions and measure out the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Place about 1/2 cup of AP flour on a large plate.





Saute bacon in pan just until it browns and renders its fat. Remove bacon to drain and cool. Leave the fat in the pan.


Dredge the livers in flour.



Add one teaspoon butter and one teaspoon olive oil to pan along with the bacon fat. Add flour-coated chicken livers and sautee on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a separate plate.



Add 1 - 2 teaspoons butter and one teaspoon olive oil and one tablespoon brandy. Scrape up bits from bottom of pan. Add chopped onion. Sautee until volume is reduced by half, adding 2 tablespoons brandy during the cooking process and 1/2 cup stock, adding more when needed.


At this point, begin adding stock to loosen up all the bits

on the bottom of the pan.


When carmelized and thick, add the garlic and stir just until fragrant. Add the smoked paprika and Tabasco. Stir. Add the chicken livers. Reduce heat and simmer for several minutes.


Boil the pasta.


In a medium bowl, add pressed garlic clove, Kosher salt, bacon and several drizzles of olive oil.




Drain pasta and add to bowl tossing well. Taste for seasonings.




To serve, mound pasta on a plate and place livers on top. Sprinkle with parsley or celery leaves. 



Organ meat! It's what's for dinner! I licked the plate . . .



Notes: I initially used 8 oz. of livers but should have used 12 oz, about 16 pieces. Livers are usually connected, so you have to cut them in half. Eight whole livers will result in the 16 pieces.


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They are tender and delicious but alas, can set off a gout attack of phenomenal proportions. I'll just enjoy your great photos.
I wish I liked cooking - I could eat meals like this!
No matter how much I love your blogs no chicken livers for me..:)
also: Yes, they are rich, for sure. I once had gout and it was horrible.

Myriad: c'mon over . . .

Linda: like I said . . . you either love 'em or hate 'em . . .
I ADORE chicken livers. I do. I've never even considered them with pasta, although I love them with rice. my recipe is similar...a leeeeeeetle different but close. so this is no doubt superduper delish.

oh be still my heart. first candace's cookies and now this.

hanging around OS one easily can become a world class heart attack victim.
I'm not crazy about eating animal organs but I'll admit you sure do an excellent job of making them appetizing with your presentations. Your combining them with pasta is partly to blame! I love, love, love pasta dishes...
Well not a big fan of chicken livers, but I do love gizzards in my chicken soup. You make them look good though. r
Looks delicious, Gary. Of course, the secret to any liver dish is in the subterfuge of the liver taste. Lots of fried onions, smoked paprika, bacon and even a little Marsala for deglazing will do. A recipe I'll keep in mind (although my bacon will have to be chicken bacon)
those actually look fabulous. if i didn't know what the texture was like, i'd be tempted to pop one in my mouth, but ... i do. i love chicken liver pate but can't do 'em whole, even with that lovely crunchy exterior that you accomplished. terrific recipe and photos, gary. happy foodie whatever day it is. :)
I've never been a "giblet" lover, perhaps because of the aroma in the kitchen all those years ago when my mom used to cook them for my father on "chicken night". But...this has me intrigued. Great photos.
Are you sure those round things are chicken livers?
FoolishMonkey: Chicken livers are one of those dishes you have every once-in-a-while . . . and then savor all of it.

Belinda: pasta lover here, too!

Christine: As I get older, I find myself enjoying turkey soup more than chicken for some reason . . .

FusunA: You can soak the livers in milk for about an hour or so . . . I think I'll add that to the recipe. But these were wonderfully fresh and clean . . .

Femme: Here in the South the deep fry them, but I have not tried that. It's that texture that I love . . .

Walter: Thanks! How's the car business going . . . I need a new one!

Larry: Yep. Them's livers all right . . .
It looks good and yummy! Normally the liver here is for the crostini; one question what noodles, De Cecco or what? For us the noodles are as important, if not more so......
This looks so good. My mom used to make chicken livers and white rice once a week when we were kids. I loved it!
Luigi: The pasta was something I picked up in a specialty store several months ago . . . The pasta makes this dish. The blend of onions with the ham (a good pancetta would be wonderful) and the brandy, garlic and smoked paprika was heavenly and paired with the chicken livers very well. I used Christian Brothers Brandy. A full-bodied, red wine would go well with this. Enjoy.

Erica: Wow! I bet your mom was more than pleased to have a child who loved chicken livers! Food and memories always go together . . .
I was put off chicken livers when I ordered them and they arrived....deep fried. I did not enjoy them. They were hard to the core. I think I'd enjoy chicken livers your way. Thanks.