These delicious chicken livers in a creamy red pepper sauce are pan-fried in butter before being smothered in the rich and creamy sauce which is made from roasted red peppers, onions and cream. They are perfect for serving either as a starter with crusty bread or as a main course spooned over a bed of tender pasta.
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Creamy chicken livers
Chicken livers have to be one my my favourite dishes to make. I love the creamy texture of the livers that seems to take on the flavour of whatever sauce you happen to make with them.
The creamy red pepper sauce that I made to accompany this particular dish consists of red peppers, onions and cream, with a few spices thrown in for good measure. This is a mild-tasting creamy sauce, with a slightly sweet and smoky taste, due to the red peppers being roasted in the oven. The onions add a savoury element, while the cream adds a delicious richness. It complements the slight earthiness of the chicken livers perfectly.
The chicken livers themselves are pan-fried lightly in butter until they are brown on the outside, but with a slight touch of pink on the inside. Just like chicken, the chicken livers should reach an internal temperature of 74C/165F to be properly cooked. The chicken liver in this recipe is cut into small pieces so it won't take long to reach that temperature. 3 or 4 minutes per side should be ample.
If you feel that the earthy flavour of chicken liver is too strong, you could soak the chicken livers in milk for half an hour and then rinse them in cold water before chopping and cooking them. I like the flavour as it is so I just rinse my livers in water.
Much as I love chicken livers, I do realise there are people who don't like them (you know who you are, so you can just skip this recipe 🙂 ). However, if you do enjoy eating chicken livers then you may also like to try this chicken liver pate or my sensational peri peri chicken livers.
Benefits of eating chicken liver
Apart from the taste, chicken livers are full of health benefits too:
- Rich in iron - iron is important for the production of red blood cells and helps prevent anaemia.
- High in vitamin A - which supports the immune system helping the body fight off infections and diseases.
- Rich in Vitamin B12 - this vitamin has been proven to help regulate metabolism and promote healthy nerve function.
That said however, chicken livers are also high in cholesterol, and should only be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Here's how to make chicken livers in a creamy red pepper sauce.
What you will need
This recipe will feed 4 people as a starter (with a slice of crusty bread each) or 2 people as a main meal, either with bread or served over pasta.
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making chicken livers in a creamy red pepper sauce on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Chicken livers - you can buy frozen chicken livers, but I prefer to buy fresh, either from the supermarket or from the butcher. If you do buy frozen livers, let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight in their original packaging. The chicken livers should be rinsed in cold water and cut into bite-sized pieces, with any membranes being discarded.
Red pepper (or capsicum or bell pepper) - this should be deseeded and cut into large pieces.
Onions - I would normally use a large onion, but for some reason, the supermarket only had small onions so I used 2. They should be peeled and depending on the size, either halved or quartered and then separated into petals.
Butter - this is used for frying the livers. I tend to use unsalted butter for cooking so that I can regulate the amount of salt I add to the food. Salted butter will do the job just as well.
Oil - used with the butter to prevent the butter from burning whilst frying the onions. Also used to rub on the red pepper before roasting.
Double cream (or heavy cream or whipping cream) - this is for the creamy red pepper sauce - if you only have single cream you could use that instead. If you are watching calories you could even use milk, but then you will have to thicken the sauce with a slurry of cornflour (cornstarch) and water.
Fenugreek - raw fenugreek seeds are very bitter, but once cooked, fenugreek develops a nutty sweetness that complements the red pepper.
Paprika - for a hint of smokiness.
Cayenne pepper - for a touch of heat. You can add more or less depending on how spicy you want to make the dish.
Salt and ground black pepper - for seasoning - to your own taste.
What to do
These are the steps in a nutshell:
- Roast the onions and red pepper for 20 minutes until softened, then blend in a food processor.
- Fry the livers in butter and oil until browned.
- Add the peppers and onions along with the spices to the livers.
- Stir in the cream.
And here are the details:
Roast the peppers and onions
Place the red pepper and onions on a baking tray, brush them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. If you have baking parchment, line your baking tray with this, if not, brush the baking tray lightly with oil to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
Bake the vegetables in a hot oven (200C / 400F) for 20 minutes until they have softened.
If after 15 minutes you find the onions are starting to brown, remove the onions from the baking tray and bake the peppers on their own for the last 5 minutes. The peppers should just be starting to char.
Allow the pepper and onions to cool and then place them into a blender or food processor and process until they form a thick paste. There is no need to peel the skin from the peppers first - the slight charring will add to the flavour.
Fry the livers
Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken livers for approximately 3 minutes per side until they have browned but are still pinkish on the inside.
Stir in the spices and fry over a low heat for one minute. Don't let the spices burn or they will become bitter.
Add the pureed red pepper and onion.
Stir in the cream and heat until piping hot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and ground black pepper if necessary.
If you intend serving the chicken livers as a starter, divide the livers between 4 small dishes, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with slices of crusty bread.
To serve as a main meal, either divide the chicken livers between 2 plates and serve with crusty bread and a fresh green salad, or serve the livers over a bed of freshly cooked spaghetti or other pasta of your choice.
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Chicken livers in creamy red pepper sauce FAQ
A properly cooked chicken liver will have an internal temperature of 74C / 165F as measured on a digital probe thermometer.
Cooked chicken livers can be frozen in the sauce for up to 3 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator and then reheat them in a saucepan until piping hot.
You can store the cooked dish in the refrigerator in a covered container for 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove until piping hot. If the sauce has thickened too much, thin it out with a splash of milk or water.
Yes, you can substitute the chicken livers with either pieces of chicken breast or prawns.
Save for later
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If this isn't quite what you are looking for, why not take a look at some of my other recipes for starters:
- Poor man's crayfish - a delicious mixture of mini shrimps and tuna in a tangy Marie Rose sauce.
- Prawn and scallop au gratin - juicy prawns and succulent scallops in a delicious brandy-flavoured Diane sauce with a cheesy topping.
- Thai salmon fishcakes with a spicy dipping sauce - tasty salmon fishcakes made with tinned salmon, with a sweet chilly, cucumber and peanut dipping sauce.
Chicken livers in a creamy red pepper saucee
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Baking parchment optional
- 14 ounces / 400 grams chicken livers
- 1 large red pepper / capsicum Cut into large pieces and seeds removed
- 1 large white or yellow onion Peeled and quartered and separated into petals
- 1 cup / 240 ml double (or heavy) cream
- 1 ounce / 30 grams butter
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to your own taste
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Peppers and onions
- Place the sliced red pepper and onion petals on a baking tray, brush them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. If you have baking parchment, line your baking tray with this, if not, brush the baking tray lightly with oil to prevent the vegetables from sticking.1 large red pepper / capsicum, 1 large white or yellow onion
- Bake the vegetables in a hot oven (200C / 400F) for 20 minutes until they have softened.
- If after 15 minutes you find the onions are starting to brown, remove the onions from the baking tray and bake the peppers on their own for the last 5 minutes. The peppers should just be starting to char.
- Allow the pepper and onions to cool and then place them into a blender or food processor and process until they form a thick paste. There is no need to peel the skin from the peppers first - the slight charring will add to the flavour.
- Rinse the chicken livers in cold water, pat them dry with kitchen paper and cut them into bite-sized pieces, discarding any membranes.14 ounces / 400 grams chicken livers
- Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken livers for approximately 3 minutes per side until they have browned but are still pinkish on the inside.1 ounce / 30 grams butter, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- Stir in the spices and fry over a low heat for one minute. Don't let the spices burn or they will become bitter.1 teaspoon sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Add the pureed red pepper and onion.
- Stir in the cream and heat until piping hot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and ground black pepper if necessary.1 cup / 240 ml double (or heavy) cream, Salt and ground black pepper
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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