Peri Peri Chicken Livers – tender chunks of chicken liver, swimming in a tomato and onion gravy, spiced up with chilli. Grab your crusty breadroll and dive right in.
Whether you are looking for an easy
I know a lot of people turn their noses up at chicken livers (urgh – I don’t like liver), but believe me, once you have tried them you will be converted. They have a lovely creamy taste, and do not taste ‘livery’ at all.
What is Peri Peri?
In case you are wondering what Peri Peri is, it is a hot red chilli pepper, similar to a Bird’s Eye Chilli. It is cultivated in South Africa and the adjoining southern African countries. The word Peri is Swahili for pepper, so peri peri becomes pepper pepper, or strong pepper, the duplication of the word being used as an intensifier.
In South Africa, you can buy a bottle of readymade Knorr Peri Peri Sauce (Knorr being the brand name). About a quarter of a bottle (approximately 50 ml) is enough to flavour your chicken livers. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to source this in England, even at the South African shops, so I’ve had to improvise a little with the ingredients.
Peri Peri Chicken liver is a popular starter at many South African restaurants and you only need to experience the taste to see why.
I made these many times when we were entertaining. If we were having a barbeque (the traditional sort where the meat only gets cooked once the beer is finished) then I would always make sure there was a huge dish of these to stave off the hunger pangs. I’d get people coming inside with empty plates – ‘got any more of those chicken livers?’. Luckily I always did.
How to make Peri Peri Chicken Liver
First of all, you have to chop up your tomatoes and onions into a chunky dice. Don’t be too particular about getting everything the same size. The tomato mostly cooks away into the sauce, and the onion becomes lovely and soft and translucent.
If you have overripe tomatoes, so much the better. You need as much liquid as possible from the tomatoes because they provide all the liquid for this dish.
Next, fry the onion and garlic in a little sunflower oil to soften. It is important not to let the brown or you may get a bitter taste.
Add the chicken livers and continue frying, stirring all the while, until they are no longer pink.
Add the rest of the ingredients, give it a good stir and bring to the boil. Now turn the heat down to a low simmer, put the lid on the pan and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure it is not boiling dry. The lowest setting on my stovetop is ideal, but yours may be stronger, so keep checking. The aim is to reduce the liquid from the tomatoes by at least half.
This recipe will feed 4 as a starter, and 2 as a main meal. If you want to make a bigger batch then just double the quantities of everything except the chilli. Use your own judgment on this. Remember, you can put it in but you can’t take it out.
I like to taste and adjust as I go along. The best way to do this is to take a small piece of bread and dip in in the sauce in the pan. That way you get a feel for what the final flavour will be, and how hot the chilli has made it.
Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.
Can I freeze this?
Yes, this freezes beautifully. Just ladle it into suitable containers and pop in the freezer. To defrost you can either use the microwave or tip the contents of your container into a pan and heat gently on the stove, stirring occasionally.
Peri Peri Chicken Livers
- 250 g Fresh Chicken Livers you can use frozen if you can't get hold of fresh
- 2 large Onions (roughly chopped)
- 4 large ripe Tomatoes (roughly chopped and retain the juice) approximately the same amount by volume as the onions
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes (use your own judgment)
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or you can use chopped cloves of garlic)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil (for sweating the onion)
- Rinse the chicken livers in cold water
- Chop the chicken livers into bite-sized chunks, discarding any bits of sinew
- Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes into approximately 1cm dice
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan (with a lid)
- Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. Do not allow to brown
- Add the chicken livers and continue frying with the onion until they change colour and are no longer pink
- Add the tomatoes and the remainder of the ingredients. Make sure you add all the tomato juice.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer on the lowest heat you can get, with the lid on, for at least 30 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and formed a rich gravy with the onions. The liquid from the tomatoes should be reduced by about half. See Note 2.
- Serve with crusty rolls or chunks of bread to mop up all the delicious gravy
- This recipe does not need any additional liquid. There should be sufficient liquid coming from the tomatoes. If you have overripe tomatoes they will be ideal to use.
- I have specified 30 minutes as the simmering time. You can simmer for longer if needed – the ideal is to reduce the liquid from the tomatoes by about half.
- If you want to make a bigger batch of this so that you can freeze it (it freezes beautifully) then just double up on all the ingredients except the chilli.
- Use your own judgment on how much chilli you will need. My rule with chilli is – add less at the beginning, then taste, then add more if needed. Remember, you can put it in but you can’t take it out.
- The best way to do a taste test is to take a piece of bread and dip it in the sauce. That way you get a feel for what the heat will be like when it is served.
If you enjoyed this recipe, why not pin it for later reference.
You might like to try some of my other starters: