Monday, March 15, 2004


I'm very happy to report that I mastered blackened chicken livers with lemon beurre blanc over the weekend. While one taster declared they were better than Southern Accent's (they make the uber blackened chicken livers), I think this is an exaggeration. You see, I ran out of cayenne and had to resort to an awful lot of black pepper as my seasoning, which made them a little too spicy.

I have made several attempts in the past with so-so results but this time several things came together which made it almost perfect. First, I got Rowe Farm chicken livers which seem much bigger, healthier and have a much nicer colour than normal livers. I had to cut them in halves or thirds, coated them and then got the cast iron pan ready to go.

Flea and I were discussing one of the problems I've had in the past, which is that to blacken properly, you have to get the pan so damn hot that it smokes up pretty much the entire house and sets off all the alarms. Flea had the stunningly simple solution of cooking it over a fire pit. Now, I don't have a fire pit, but I threw the pan on top of the barbecue until it reached premium temperature and put the livers in the pan out there.

From there, you sear the livers (sans oil, whatever they tell you) for a very brief length of time. The theory, my chef friend told me, is that the pan must be so hot that the livers don't actually touch the pan because the force of heat actually pushes them up a millimeter above the pan's surface, keeping them almost jumping up from the heat the entire time.

The lemon beurre blanc is dead easy. Minced shallots fried in white wine and lemon until they are almost a paste, then add cream, and butter. Pour on top of your livers and serve with some french stick or, if you have it, jalapeno cornbread.