Before you run away screaming, hear me out. I know, it’s chicken livers. They are crispy and spiced but, still, liver. There are some people who genuinely enjoy them, but I think it’s fair to say the majority of us just are not instant fans.
I know for me, I grew up around liver-loving people. Fried liver and onions, chopped liver, pate – they ate all of it, frequently, and loved it. I tasted and tasted but could just never acquire a taste for liver in any shape or form. Truthfully, it just grossed me out.
As we have gotten more and more into a real foods lifestyle, I can’t keep from hearing how nutrient-dense and amazing pastured chicken liver is for you. After hearing this mantra over and over for a year, I decided I was going to find a way to eat these things occasionally.
I experimented and tried a lot of recipes. I pureed livers into burgers (um, yeah, I don’t advise doing that!), made Pates and even tried my mom’s famous Chopped Liver with a new attitude and open mind. None of it really worked for me.
One day a couple of months ago, I was making my Paleo Oven Fried Chicken for dinner and as I was breading the chicken, it crossed my mind that this crispy, spiced crust might not only work on the chicken livers but make them tasty enough that even I would eat them once a month or so.
After playing around with the spice ratios and trying oven-baking vs. pan-frying, I developed this Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers recipe. I like to serve them hot with a side of Lemon Garlic Two-Ingredient Aioli for dipping.
If you are already a liver lover and haven’t had a crispy, spiced liver, I think you will love them. If you are in my camp and looking for a way to not only eat more livers but also ENJOY them, I am hoping you will at least give them a try!
- I used a combination of almond meal (ground raw almonds with their skins on) and blanched almond flour (finely ground blanched and skinless almonds). You can make your own almond meal if you have raw almonds and a food processor.
- Bob’s Red Mill sells “Almond Meal/Flour“, which is actually blanched almond flour. They also just released a new product called “Natural Almond Meal/Flour“, which is almond meal. Confusing right?
- I have reheated these and do they OK but are best when first cooked. I don’t suggest a microwave (the crust will get soggy) but rather a non-stick frying pan or a frying pan over medium heat with a bit of oil or butter in it to heat through and crisp them back up.
- Some people swear by soaking chicken livers in buttermilk to clean them. I tried that but with coconut milk mixed with apple cider vinegar (aka vegan buttermilk) and I didn’t notice any difference for this dish. It just added an additional step and wasted ingredients.
- For those of you counting Points Plus, note that you only use about 3/4 cup of the almond flour mixture. Unfortunately, you need the volume there in order to coat the livers so there is some waste. I only counted 3/4 cup when calculating the Points Plus.
- Begin by trimming the chicken livers (strings) and cutting them into evenly sized pieces (2 to 3" long). Pat dry with paper towels and set aside in a glass bowl. Beat egg and pour over chicken livers. Gently mix until well distributed.
- Combine almond flour, almond meal and spices in a shallow dish that will be used for dredging. use a fork to mix until all spices are incorporated and all lumps are gone from the flour.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (I used 3 Tablespoons total as I divided the 1 pound of chicken livers into 3 batches and used 1 Tablespoon of oil per batch.).
- Using your hands, dredge ⅓ of the chicken livers in the flour mixture until well coated and gently place one by one in the frying pan so that they are not crowded.
- Cook, undisturbed, for 4 to 5 minutes. Gently flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. Try not to keep moving them around so you don't disturb the crust. Remove to a wire rack to cool and continue repeat until all of the livers are cooked.
- TIPS: These cooking times are for the size I mentioned (2 to 3" long). If your livers are much larger or very thick, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Enjoy!