Monday, February 19, 2007

Recovered Chicken Liver and Sage Salad

Once upon a time, I bought this jive ass salad cookbook in a used bookstore. I think my rationale was that increased access to creative salad recipes would induce me to eat more greens, but all it did was up my annual chicken liver consumption by ten pounds or so.

So when, after a three year hiatus, I again started shacking with Matthew Mugg the Cat’s Meat Man*, one of the things I was really looking forward to was a reunion with my beloved sage and chicken liver salad. Only thing was, sometime in the last three years, I must have unloaded that crappy cookbook in a stoop sale. It was nowhere to be found and I know, because I looked, sort of. I could have lost it, could have thrown a tantrum and ordered in thirty bucks’ worth of sub par Thai food, but like hell was I going to waste a pound of chicken livers from Los Paisanos at $1.99 a pound. I unzipped my baggie of fresh sage, huffed deeply, and dusted off my background in improvisation.

What I wound up with wouldn’t win any beauty prizes, but there’s nothing wrong with being Ms. Congeniality, especially if you’re loaded with iron.

Recovered Chicken Liver and Sage Salad

Wash, dry, and tear a head of Bibb lettuce. Boston lettuce? I always. That hydroponic stuff with the root ball dangling off the end like those scary lady-ghosts from Thailand. Oh my god, they’re so freaky. Just this pretty smiling head trailing a mess of internal organs like gnarly sausage links. The stuff one learns reading Giant Robot, I swear.

Slice a shallot.

Chop up some sage. Like a sprig. I don’t know. There were four sprigs in my baggie, one decidedly larger than the rest. I denuded that one of its leaves and chopped them up. Use your discretion, not your measuring spoons.

Melt a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. Fry the sage and the shallot over medium heat for five to ten minutes.

Remove the goodies, as much as you can. Freshen the pan with another tablespoon of butter and another tablespoon of oil.

Brown the chicken livers. If you’re worried about whatever it is people worry about with undercooked organ meats, think about that scene in Notes on a Scandal where Dame Judi Dench snaps, “Don’t, let’s.” You want them brown on the outside, but not on the inside.

1/4 cup of wine
1/4 cup of orange juice
several big pinches of salt
a big pinch of freshly ground pepper
and restore those goodies.

When everything’s heated through, make like you’re some sort of demented Easter Bunny, tucking chicken livers amongst those tender new greens. So good! Wilt it up a bit by pouring the sauce over everything.

Sprinkle with a bit more fresh sage and a splash or two of sushi vinegar.

It’s a metaphor and a literary allusion!


Blogger tut-tut said...

I'm a big fan of chicken livers. Sage is just the thing to go with them, too. Orange juice . . . hmm.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Sounds great, but did the kids eat it?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Ayun Halliday said...

hell no!

8:01 AM  

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