Here is my special recipe for Cashew-Crusted Chicken Livers with Red Wine Reduction:
(makes 2 4-oz. servings)
Thaw 1/2 lb. of pastured chicken livers; remove all connective and fatty tissue and discard. Slice livers crosswise in 1/2” slices or in nugget-sized pieces. If the pieces seem really wet set them on a paper towel.
In a food processor, grind the following into a fine meal (watch this process carefully so you do not end up with cashew butter!):
- 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup of organic raw cashews (unroasted/unsalted), preferably soaked and dehydrated (you can do this yourself by following the recipe for crispy nuts in Nourishing Traditions, or buy already soaked/dehydrated cashews at www.WildernessFamilyNaturals.com)
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup pastured pork lard or other healthy fat of your choice until it shimmers (such as ghee or chicken fat--though lard gives the absolute best results). Dredge liver pieces in cashew meal and fry in hot lard over medium-low heat just until the outside of each piece turns from liver-colored to brown; since the pieces are small this only takes a few minutes -- it is very important not to overcook them as the characteristic liver flavor will become much more pronounced.
Remove the liver pieces from the pan and pour in 1 cup of dry red wine. Over high heat, bring the wine to a vigorous boil as you scrape the meat drippings and cashew crust from the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce until it is thickened, then pour over the livers. Add fresh-ground black pepper and unrefined sea salt to taste, and chopped parsley as a garnish if desired.
A cooking client recently described these as being "like candy" because they are so delicious! Oliver declares them "tasty and delectable" and will happily eat them every day for a post-nap snack.
*A few notes: use the same cashew meal blend for chicken nuggets (first roll in beaten egg, dredge in cashew meal, and fry in lard) -- your kids won't know they're eating something healthy! I like to make 2 cups-worth of cashew meal at a time and store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator so I have it ready any time I need it. While I'm at it I also make cashew butter which I use for the most incredible grain-free pancakes ever (recipe forthcoming).
With this recipe, you can make your New Year's resolution to eat more liver a pleasant and easy-to-achieve reality. Enjoy!
More on the benefits of liver:
Quite simply, liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. Liver should be sourced from grass-fed or pastured animals. All creatures store nutrients in high amounts in the liver, which makes it an incredibly nutrient-dense food. In summary, liver provides:
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A--important for fertility & growing babies
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folate
- A highly usable form of iron (highest in pork and chicken liver)
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc, and chromium (liver is our best source of copper)
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor (liver really is uniquely energizing!)
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardiovascular function
- A good source of purines – nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA