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  • Cibreo i Sodi (Braised Chicken Livers)

    Cibreo i Sodi (Braised Chicken Livers)

    On the farm, my grandmother never cooked; she was the one raising the animals and taking care of them. My aunt and mother were the ones who prepared the chickens for dinner, and when they were cleaning them, taking out the livers for the cibreo, for example, they would always complain to my grandmother that the chickens were too fat, that she was giving them too much food! The traditional regional recipe for cibreo uses everything from the chicken that you normally don’t eat, like the liver, heart, and coxcomb. Here, I use just the liver.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 4 appetizer servings
    • Prep 10 minutes
    • Cook 50 minutes, plus grilling the bread

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound chicken livers
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
    • 2 medium red onions, minced
    • 10 fresh sage leaves, minced
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1½ cups dry white wine
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock
    • 2 egg yolks
    • Juice of ½ lemon
    • 1 loaf crusty country bread
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
    • Best-quality extra virgin olive oil to finish

    Method

    Wash the chicken livers and drain in a colander. With a paring knife, trim away excess fat and cut the livers into small but not too small pieces, about 3 pieces from each liver. Set aside on paper towels to dry.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil a medium saucepan over a high flame. When hot, add the onions and sage and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until caramelized and perfuming the air, 7 to 8 minutes.

    While the onions are cooking, spread out the flour in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken liver pieces to the flour, a few at a time, and toss to dredge until coated all over with flour.

    Transfer the floured livers to a plate.

    Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Without crowding the pan, add the chicken livers and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until browned. Add additional oil if the livers begin to stick. Add the browned livers to the caramelized onions.

    Add just a little bit of the wine to the livers and onions, just enough to melt everything together. (I love the sizzling sound and toasty smell that you get from just pouring a little wine into the very hot pan.) Reduce the heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, a bit of grated nutmeg, and the remaining wine.

    (You can prepare the livers to this point, cover them, and refrigerate for up to a day.)

    Warm the chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the stock to the livers, cover, and continue cooking, stirring often, until the sauce is very thick and the livers are almost dry, about 30 minutes.

    Make the finishing egg sauce just before serving: In a small bowl, with a fork vigorously beat the egg yolks and lemon juice until a pale yellow color. Season with salt and pepper. Taste the livers and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Temper the lemon-egg mixture by mixing in the remaining 2 tablespoons warm chicken stock. Stir the tempered yolks into the chicken livers and cook over a low flame, stirring, until the sauce becomes dense and rich, about 2 minutes.

    Just before serving, grill the bread: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. (If you have a panini press, you can use it to the grill the bread or, in warm weather, use a gas or charcoal grill.) Cut the bread into thick slices.

    Place the bread slices in the pan and place a heavy weight (such as a large pot or a baking pan topped with heavy cans) on top. Grill the bread, turning occasionally, until nice grill marks appear, 5 to 10 minutes.

    Rub the grilled bread with the halved garlic clove. Spoon the hot cibreo over the bread, drizzle with your very best olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

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