When I was a child, there was a restaurant we frequented for breakfast that served lightly breaded, sauteed chicken livers. The livers were perfectly cooked. They had a dark, rich, crusty, brown exterior and tender, moist, juicy, pink insides and were perfect with softly scrambled eggs.
My father and I were the only ones in our family who ate these and we loved them. That restaurant is long gone, but I still love chicken livers for breakfast. I don’t get them often enough and I’ve never seemed to get my fill.
This dish combines two separate recipes. Both are great to have in your repertoire. The mushrooms are prepared in a traditional chasseur or “Hunter’s Sauce” that includes tomatoes, tarragon, white wine and shallots.
Traditional chasseur sauce is thickened with a slurry. A slurry is a combination of starch or arrowroot and cold water mixed together to thicken a soup or sauce. I omit this in the mushroom chasseur sauce because it’s lighter and healthier.
You can serve these mushrooms alone, or as a side dish with eggs or a steak. I love mixing them with sauteed, crusty, browned chicken livers. The secret to preparing the livers is to have the patience to let them get crusty on the outside but not overcooking them. This requires a hot pan with a combination of butter and oil. So delicious!
Note to self: Next time, before I fill the chafing dish or serving platter, put some aside. There was one lonely liver left for me the next morning.
CHICKEN LIVERS CHASSEUR
EVENT: New Year’s Day Brunch
SERVES: 12-18 People
For chasseur sauce (makes 3-4 cups sauce):
1 lb mushrooms sliced, approximately 4 cups
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned * and drained are okay)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
For sauteed chicken livers:
2-4 lbs fresh chicken livers
1 1/2 cups flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter (more as needed)
4 grape seed or olive oil (more as needed)
Fresh Italian parsley
Make chasseur sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the mushrooms, shallots. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes.
2. Add the wine and simmer briefly.
3. Add the tomatoes, beef broth and tarragon. Cook about 5 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.
4. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
Make chicken livers:
5. Rinse the livers. One at a time, cut away every trace of thread, like veins and connective tissue.
6. Blend the flour with the salt and pepper. Lightly coat the chicken livers with seasoned flour.
7. Heat the butter and the oil in a heavy skillet. When it is hot but not smoking, add the livers. You will have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan and quantity of livers.
8. Cook over high heat to get a nicely browned slight crust on the outside.
9. Don’t overcook. They should still be pink on inside. Cook about 2 minutes total.
10. Pour the livers and the cooking oil into a colander to drain. Pour the cooked livers into the sauce and stir, so mushrooms and livers are mixed.
11. Repeat with remaining livers, adding more melted butter and oil as needed.
12. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley.
* A NOTE: If I choose to use canned tomatoes in this recipe, I purchase them at Costco.