Cooking At Home: Sauteed Garlic Thyme Chicken Liver

My first experience with liver was when I was about 7 years old and my Mom thought it would be good for my health to eat raw liver, she fed me raw liver doused in sesame oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The good girl that I was I ate the damn thing and even told her it was delicious, of course it was absolutely horrible. I'm not a picky eater by any means and can eat most things... except liver. This is not to say that I haven't tried a bite of cooked liver which I seem to always decide yet again and again that I do not like. Husband Borscht on the other hand loves chicken liver and if it's on the menu he's more than willing to try it, forever chasing his grandmother's sauteed chicken liver Husband Borscht is quite by accident and unbeknown to even him, on the hunt.

Standing in the meat department of Whole Foods I eye the gross looking chicken liver behind the glass. It would be nice if I could make chicken liver for Husband Borscht at home, I think he would like that very much indeed, and so I buy a pound of chicken liver.

I read through seven different chicken liver recipes and even open up all the cookbooks on my shelf for chicken liver recipes. I've never made chicken liver before and the only thing I know about it is that it cooks rather fast. I find not one recipe that I like, that sounds delicious... But I have gathered the general knowledge of how sauteed chicken livers go, and it goes something like this, butter or olive oil, onions, sometimes balsamic vinegar, sometimes red wine, chopped parsley is in most chicken liver recipes I've read thus far... hmmmmm. I'm beginning to understand how to cook chicken liver. Chicken liver cooks rather fast so browning the onions happens first, sometimes the recipe asks you to add the chicken liver later on and cook the liver with the onions, other times it says to remove the onions and to cook the chicken liver separately, hmmm - slowly I'm getting it.

So here goes! I rinse and pat dry the chicken liver and decide to saute the onions first with a pat of butter until their nicely browned. I opt to remove the onions from the pan and set aside while I saute the chicken liver in a pat of butter on the same pan, in all it takes about 5-6 minutes to cook the livers through so that they are slightly pink on the inside but well done on the outside, in the last couple minutes I throw in minced garlic, salt, pepper, fresh thyme and the sauteed onions- I give all of this a good toss up in the pan, add another pat of butter for a nice glisten and more moisture... and I'm done.
I taste... and.... I actually think I like this chicken liver! The garlic, sauteed onions and thyme are all wonderful flavors, most importantly, flavors that I enjoy. The usual strong iron-like taste of the liver is well-masked although not completely by the wonderful flavors. Unfortunately however, Husband Borscht was less than pleased with my endeavor to try and cook chicken liver, he was looking forward to his grandmother's chicken liver and this just didn't cut it, I ate most of it that night and really did think it was quite delicious.

If you're interested in trying this Sauteed Garlic Thyme Chicken Liver recipe here it is, I hope you enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS (for 3-4 persons):
1 lb. of chicken liver, rinsed, pat-dried and cut into bite size pieces
3 pats of butter
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 small-medium red onion or sweet yellow onion, in medium length slices
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, leaves picked
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet. On med-low heat melt 1 pat of butter, when the butter is completely melted add your onions and slowly saute the onions until they are browned to your liking. I like my onions sauteed until they are practically caramelized.

2. Remove the onions from the pan. Turn up the heat to med-high and melt 1 pat of butter in the same pan, when the butter is completely melted add your chicken liver. Make sure that you're chicken liver is not crowded and is lying in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow the chicken liver to cook for 5-6 minutes (this will result in a slightly pink middle), toss around with a wooden spoon occasionally so that all sides of the chicken liver brown and cook.

3. When you have 2 minutes remaining add your minced garlic, thyme leaves and your sauteed onions back into the pan. Give all the ingredients a good mix. Turn off the heat and add your last pat of butter, give it all a good toss (the last pat of butter will give a nice glisten and moisturizing coat to your chicken liver).

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