Saturday, March 8, 2014

Love Them Or Not?

Well, today I have definite proof that winter will end. There are tulips popping up in my flower beds, even though there is still a little snow on the ground. Thankfully, it is melting away.

A few nights ago I prepared something for dinner that might make a lot of the younger readers shudder…..fried chicken livers with caramelized onions. We like them but don’t have them often. They have a reputation of high fat and richness, and are a little tedious to fry, but they did taste good!

My sister and I grew up with a Mom from rural Kentucky who had grown up during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. She was a great cook, and we often had good old-fashioned things like beef liver and onions, bean soup with cornbread (known to country folks as soup beans and cornbread) and other good, hearty foods. She was even known to prepare rabbit or squirrel if one of her brothers had been hunting! I know…..

These days we are all trying to eat more healthy foods, which is good, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to go back to some of the old standby foods that we grew up with. Moderation is the key!

So how do you feel about chicken livers? Here’s how to fix them.

FRIED CHICKEN LIVERS

1 tub chicken livers, drained
Bowl 1: flour (season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning)
Bowl 2: 1 egg, beaten with a couple of tablespoons water
Bowl 3: flour and cornmeal (season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning)

Dredge the livers in flour, then the egg mixture, then the cornmeal mix. Heat a mixture of olive oil and butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add the livers and fry them until brown on one side, turn and fry until brown. You may need to do this in 2 batches – don’t crowd them in the pan or they will steam more than fry. This will take a few minutes because you want them completely done, but don’t overcook them. Remove to a pan and keep them warm in the oven while finishing the remaining livers and preparing the onions.

Note: For a touch of heat, you could add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to the egg mixture or some crushed red pepper to the cornmeal mixture.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

1 very large onion, sliced and separated into rings
3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth
salt, pepper to taste
pinch of  sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Pour off grease in the skillet, leaving the browned bits in the bottom. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom. Bring the broth to boil and add the onion rings. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the  onions are soft, then remove the lid and let the broth reduce until almost gone. Season with salt, pepper and sugar; add butter and stir until melted.

Note: They say now that we don’t need to rinse chicken – that it spreads more bacteria; however, I just couldn’t handle the livers without giving them a good rinse! Just be careful not to splash.
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Coming next week: the third in the Herb Series, a birthday and some holidays to celebrate! And we'll all be loving the extra hour of daylight in the evenings after tonight's spring forward.
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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