The first time I ate this warm salad was in Café Rouge on the Chiswick High Road years and years ago – I remember thinking how totally lush it was, why had never eaten chicken livers before and how could I cook it for myself??!
It took me a long time to perfect the recipe and the hardest part to get right was the vinegar. The chicken livers are so rich that you need a lot more vinegar and lemon juice than you think. Most of the vinegars I tried were too sharp, but a lovely mature sherry vinegar has just the right amount of sweetness to create that unbelievable balance of sour versus sweet to take on the richness of the liver.
The super cheap round green English lettuces (60p) are the best for a warm salad as they are soft enough to wilt slightly under the hot chicken livers.
I love to eat this salad with hunks of fresh white bread to catch all the garlicky juices and drink lots of cold white wine. Sometimes I make a creamy mash potato with lots of butter and whole milk so my little boys can eat the chicken livers cut in small pieces with the mash.
I am very fussy when it comes to ingredients like liver and I only use organic chicken livers. Even though they are organic, you won’t believe how cheap they are, £1.99 for a 400g pack!
Miraculous ingredient: Soft round lettuce, organic chicken livers, sherry vinegar
Warm salad with chicken livers, garlic and sherry vinegar
Soft round lettuce, washed, dried and torn into small pieces
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves finely sliced
400g chicken livers, trimmed and cut in half
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
Black pepper, freshly ground
Coarse sea salt to taste
Place a dry medium size frying pan onto a low heat to warm while you prepare the ingredients.
Wash and dry the round lettuce. Tear the lettuce leaves into smaller pieces and put them into a large salad bowl.
Finely slice the garlic cloves. Trim off all the connective tissue from the middle of the chicken livers and cut the lobes in half to make large bite size pieces.
Add all the olive oil to the frying pan and turn the heat to high. Add the sliced garlic cloves and stir for 20 seconds (do not let them burn). Add all the chicken livers and leave for 2 minutes. A crust will form on the underside of the chicken livers in the oil and high heat which will make them easier to stir and turn over.
Add all the sherry vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper and salt. Stir well and fry the underside of the chicken livers until they are thoroughly cooked. I cook the chicken livers for about 5 minutes; they will be just cooked but still very soft. You can cook them for longer if you prefer.
Once the livers are cooked, turn off the heat and spoon the chicken livers on top of the lettuce leaves, pour the juice all over and add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking 5 minutes, serves 4