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RECIPE: CHICKEN LIVERS WITH MUSHROOMS & ASPARAGUS

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Photographs: David Straight

We’ve eaten this once a week this winter: a dish that originally came from Dish magazine, via Hannah’s mum. I’ve tweaked it and recently added asparagus – a nice piece of toasted sourdough and maybe a poached egg would be good too. It’s super easy and very fast: the mushrooms add a silkiness, which I really like. This is heaps for two or it could do three or four with a salad.

Packet of organic free-range chicken livers – about 400g for two people
Six Portobello mushrooms sliced into ½ centimetre pieces
A bunch of new-season asparagus (I like the thin stuff)
Olive oil or butter, for frying
Extra virgin olive oil and vinegar of your choosing
Parsley

Rinse and drain the chicken livers in a sieve, then dry completely on a couple of paper towels. (It will make a nice mess on your bench.) Trim off the white bits and slice the larger ones in two.

Make a simple dressing with extra virgin olive oil and either balsamic or maybe a sherry vinegar – two parts olive oil to one part vinegar is a nice mix.

Snap the ends off the asparagus then cut into spears – about 8cm long is ideal. Boil them in salted boiling water for a minute or two (depending on their thickness), but make sure you take them off before they get soft and douse in cold water.

Add a knob of butter and a little extra virgin olive oil to a nice big heavy frying pan and put over a medium-high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the chicken livers so there is plenty of space around them – you might need to cook them in batches. Don’t mess with them: you want them seared and caramelised, not stewed, so trust that they will cook if you just put them in the pan and leave them. Cook for two minutes and then flip them and cook for another minute or two. You should still be able to see pink bits.

Remove the livers to a bowl and cover. Add the sliced mushrooms to the frying pan with a little extra olive oil if things are looking dry. Cook the mushrooms until they’re sticky and caramelised, then add the chicken livers and the asparagus and shake over the heat for a few seconds.

Divide into bowls, drizzle a bit of dressing over and then add chopped parsley. SFG

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