When I was a child – which was a long time ago, but not THAT long ago – my grandma used to make chicken soup and there were chicken feet, and a throat, in the soup. And I remember my mom, who didn’t cook very often, cooking a cow’s tongue from time to time. Yeah, that’s right! And it was delicious.
In my last post – With Respect to the Animals – I mentioned that unintentionally I got to this web site chooseveg.com, and watched a video depicting the awful life and death of animals – cows, pigs, and chickens, raised on “farms” (click here if you are brave enough to watch it). If you were wondering, no, I am not becoming vegetarian, but for now I’m taking some time off from meat. So in the past days we had Linguine with Shrimp Scampi (recipe here) and a few vegetarian meals (except for that BBQ we went to on Saturday), and I will soon post the recipe for the lovely onion quiche I made last night.
But I did decide that we will eat those animals in smaller portions and less frequently. And when I buy meat, chicken, or poultry, as well as seafood, I will choose free-range, organic, local, and sustainable food. It doesn’t necessarily cost more. Here’s an example. I went to Whole Foods and bought a pound of organic chicken liver. It costs $2.99 per pound, and $2.49 for free-range! Enough to feed 2-4 people. You do the math.
I had a great recipe, really special, which everyone loved – baby, kindergartner, husband, and yours truly. And the house smelled like cake! The one below is based on a recipe I got about 15 years ago. It’s by an Israeli cookbook author, Elinoar Rabin, and my brain remembered it because of the unusual flavor and pretty unique use of fruit with chicken liver (unlike foie gras).
Chicken Liver with Cinnamon and Apples
For 3-4 servings
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb. chicken liver, washed and patted dry
A few tablespoons butter
2 medium apples, cored and cut to ½-inch slices
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, optional
Mix flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle liver with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour-cinnamon mixture.
In a medium size skillet melt butter over medium heat. Sauté the chicken liver until nicely browned on each side (I didn’t measure the time, about 4-5 minutes on each side). Remove from skillet and place in a covered dish to keep warm.
Add some butter to skillet and sauté apples until golden. Turn to other side, sprinkle with sugar and cook another 2 minutes.
Serve liver with apples and a drizzle of balsamic.
Another use I made for this recipe is to serve it, without the apples, with fresh (but store-bought) pumpkin ravioli. Make a sauce with shallots sautéed in butter, some canned pumpkin, heavy cream, cranberries, and roasted chestnuts. Delicious.
If you want to see something really special regarding eating the whole animal, I stumbled upon this post showing how to cook pork head, click here. It’s fascinating. And, hey, people in the world are eating like that.