Apparently I Don’t Love Liver

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May 21, 2011 by Leah

In an effort to get more nutrient-dense foods into my diet, I’ve been trying to teach myself to love liver. I made two variations on chicken liver pâté this week (having stupidly thawed an entire pound of chicken livers at one time) and I really don’t think I like it. This is odd, because there are very few foods that I actively dislike. I can’t think of any, in fact.

When I first thought of making chicken liver pâté, I assumed I would love it for its micronutrient-laden goodness and due to the fact that it’s more than half butter. I may have subconsciously been thinking of that incredibly delectable stuff called foie gras, and wondering if I could come up with something similar on the cheap, and at home. Turns out, you just can’t.

Two days ago, I whipped up half the chicken livers in a recipe from the great Jacques Pépin. The ingredients included lots of butter and a splash of single malt – it sounded like my dream come true. The stuff filled three ramekins (to two of which I added a protective crust of melted butter so I could freeze them). I ate about a tablespoon of pâté that afternoon, spread over bread I made using ground almonds instead of wheat flour, and it seemed like I couldn’t get enough of it. I offered some to Aaron with dinner, and he declined, saying he’d try some on Sunday. “Why Sunday?” I asked. “There probably won’t be any left by then!” was the gleeful reply.

Boy, was he wrong.

Yesterday, I made the second recipe (this one involving sage and sherry) from chicken livers that had been bathing in raw milk all night. I nibbled at my previous batch while I was waiting for liquids to evaporate from my frying pan. It wasn’t going down as easily as it had been. In fact, it kind of struck me as gross.

Today, I dipped some of my lunchtime roast chicken into about a half a teaspoon of pâté and choked it down. It dawned on me that I hadn’t even tried the second recipe (it had been solidifying in the fridge). Hoping that the sage – or the milk-soak, or something – in that recipe would bring some kind of tasty enlightenment, I spread some on a piece of almond bread, took a bite, and spit the whole thing in the sink.

So. Something I know to be good for me, something I was actually kind of enjoying two days ago, now makes me cringe to think about and I have to choke it down. What the heck? Maybe there’s just so much nutrition in chicken livers that I’ve now had enough for the next month or so.

Somehow I doubt I’m ever going to convince Aaron to try the pâté. He’s getting some organ meats in the form of the beef liver I ground and froze into ice cube trays – adding a cube or two to recipes that call for ground beef has been an easy and clandestine way to fulfill my micronutrient mission. That and our weekly Sunday dinner of shellfish will just have to be enough for now.

Luckily, all my hard work (like deglazing pans with booze and pressing the button on the food processor constitute hard work) and the $10 I spent on the experiment (in the form of chicken livers and butter) will not go to waste. It turns out there is one member of the family who thinks chicken liver pâté is the best thing he’s ever eaten in his whole entire life.

More, please!

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5 thoughts on “Apparently I Don’t Love Liver

  1. Feeding Time says:

    Wow, that dog is adorable!
    As for the liver thing, I think it might one of those tastes that has to be acquired in childhood. I’ve had this discussion with lots of people (because I love it) and it seems that only those who were forced to eat it as children have much of a fondness for it now!

    • Duke would like me to tell you you are more than welcome to use his image if you ever need a dog for one of your fabulous animals-wearing-clothes collages. Interesting theory on liver, too – definitely worth further research and testing.

  2. Megan says:

    Love your post! I’ve struggled with enjoying liver also! I made pate with deer liver once and it was great because deer liver has a mild flavor. So maybe you could try a different type of liver! Also, I like to add grass-fed braunsweiger (which is part beef liver and part ground beef) into recipes that call for ground beef. The flavor isn’t as overwhelming as liver alone can be! Good luck! And your dog is adorable!

  3. David G says:

    I ate liver growing up, mostly fried chicken livers. I still like it today, and fried chicken livers is one of the foods I get a craving for.

  4. Krista says:

    Well, I’ve always heard that if you try a new food at least 10 times you’ll like it. So I guess take 10 weeks and try liver once a week. I’ve actually had quite a bit of success doing this, I started out hating liver. Be wary of beef liver, it’s stronger tasting. Oh, and I never ate liver as a child.

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