Frisée and Chicken Liver Salad

Thursday, I found myself wandering around the poultry section in Whole Foods looking for something I’ve never needed before – chicken livers.  My next recipe to make was frisée and chicken liver salad.  I actually cheated a little bit and skipped a recipe.  It called for about 15 different game birds and and served 10-12 people.  I made an executive decision to save this recipe for when Ray and I are together and can pool our time and funds together.

Also, this post marks a first for the Cooking Agents!! It is our first video blog post:

First, I made the shallot confit.  The best way I can describe making confit is pumping concentrated flavor into whatever it is you’re “confit-ing”.  In this case,  I chopped the shallots and cooked in white wine.  Once the white wine cooks off, I added sherry vinegar and a bit of balsamic vinegar.  The final product should look like a brown-reddish shallot jelly. This stuff is potent! It’s flavor explosion and the vinegar is so concentrated and acerbic, perfect to dull some of the irony liver taste.

After making the confit, I cleaned and trimmed the chicken livers of any gross stuff like fat and veins. I was kind of freaked out by the texture. It was gooshy but would snap back to its original shape. I also noticed a bit of a snap when I cut through the “skin”. That kind of creeped me out. After I prepped them, I seasoned with salt and pepper and threw them in the fridge.

I filled two small pots with water and got them on the stove top to start them boiling. In the mean time, I peeled 2 small yukon gold potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch rounds. Then, I threw the potatoes in the boiling water with a sprig of thyme, sage, and salt. In the other pot of water, I reduced the heat right before the water looked like it was about to boil. Poaching eggs is an art. If you don’t get the temperature of your water right, your egg is going to take on a life of its own. If the water is not warm enough, the eggs kind of falls apart. The white hardly coats the yolk and it looks like some alien spawn egg. If the water is too hot, the whites are too tough and you run the risk of overcooking the yolk. After poaching I egg, remove with the slotted spoon and set aside and keep warm.

Finally, in a small skillet, I heated some olive oil on medium high heat and threw in the livers. When both sides were browned, I added a small amount of sherry vinegar and a healthy scoop of the confit. Once the liquid evaporated, I seasoned with salt and pepper. I threw the liver and confit into frisée cut into one inch leaves and mixed well.

To set up the plate, I placed three potato rounds on the plate and topped it with a poached egg. To add some flavor, I chopped fresh chives and sprinkled it on top of the egg. Then on the other side of the plate, I piled up the salad with chicken livers and put a little extra confit on top.

This dish was harmony on a plate. The vinegary confit offset the irony livers and the runny yolk of the poached egg added some richness to the vinegar. When you got a perfect bite of everything, I was immediately transported to flavor town. I’m not convinced I’m a chicken liver convert, but I did really enjoy it in this dish.

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