The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Best budget recipes for 50% or less: Warm chicken liver salad with chicory and pears

Photo: Warm chicken liver salad

Photo: Warm chicken liver salad

These are a collection of recipes inspired by cut price, soon to be out of date, supermarket food. I have discovered that this sort of shopping has made my cooking a lot more inventive and it’s really satisfying to create something delicious out of ingredients that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

Many years ago I was very keen on a tall dark stranger that moved up to live with his sister in the vicinity. He invited me to lunch and made a wonderful warm chicken liver salad.

I was so goofy and overawed that I was shy and mawkish.  As the lunch progressed I realised that any possibility of a deeper relationship with this intriguing character was spinning rapidly away.

I decided to invite him to lunch. It would be a lunch with some amusing friends. On home ground I might perform better. I rang him and casually mentioned that he might like to join us. He accepted but on the morning of the lunch party rang to say that he was playing in a golf match and couldn’t come. I hosted the lunch party feeling desolate.

Since then I could never bring myself to try a making a warm chicken liver salad myself but this week’s CFC bargains forced my hand. And the wide range of ingredients suggested an unusual yet chic warm chicken liver salad. The sweetness of the pear perfectly counterbalances the sharp taste of the chicory. The creamy chicken liver dressing was sublime. This was nothing like the Dark Man’s salad but delicious even so.

I served it with a warm potato salad as Danny insists on spuds with everything. And the combination worked really well.

Danny bought steaks tonight for a treat but after supper he confided that he much prefered the warm chicken liver salad.

Warm chicken liver salad with chicory and pears (feeds 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course)

Ingredients:

  • 400g of chicken livers (cut the larger ones into two)
  • 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of thick double cream
  • 2 gem lettuce hearts (washed and tron)
  • 2 heads of chicory (washed and sliced)
  • Small bunch of salad onions (washed and sliced)
  • 1 large ripe pear (skinned and chopped)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method:

  1. Wash and prepare the main salad ingredients. Sprinkle the chopped pear with a teaspoon of lemon juice to stop it turning brown.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken livers and stir them gently for a couple of minutes until they are brown on the outside and still pink in the middle. Lift them out of the pan using a slotted spoon and reserve in a warm place.
  3. Meanwhile add the cider vinegar and the two remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the juices in the pan and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Turn the heat down low and add the cream, Stir until the cream thickens and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Add the chicken livers to the salad and spoon over the dressing. Serve immediately.

Cost:

chicken livers in the freezer (99p reduced to 45p)    45p
Red chicory (£1.39 reduced to 39p)     26p
Four plump pears (£1.99 reduced to 95p)    24p
Thick spooning cream (£1.19 reduced to 39p)    08p
Oil and vinegar, lemon juice and seasoning etc    10p
2 gem lettuce hearts (full price)      75p
Spring onions (full price)       45p

Total cost         £2.33
Having totted up the cost, I hadn’t realised that full price, this would be a deluxe dish at well over £4.00.


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