A quiet night at home was most wonderfully attended by making Julia Child's recipe for Chicken Livers a la Francaise from The French Chef Cookbook. After all, not every evening can be besotted by an exquisite, labor-intensive dish like Coquilles Saint-Jacques. We usually save dishes like that for guests! In keeping with our attempt to more fully utilize our stack of cookbooks, we once again looked to Ms. Child's epic tome for the Chicken Liver recipe which is as simple as it is satisfying, instead of being as time consuming as it is caloric. And besides, Baby is on Weight Watchers, so we lightened it up a little.
We both, Baby and I, have a long history of eating chicken livers, as well as comforting memories that we associate with them, having been fed chicken livers since we were children. Our parents just used to fry them up, with a little salt, pepper and onions. My father would even throw some chicken hearts in there, which I loved and ate with abandon (I still do). Years later, a friend in college dipped the livers in bread crumbs too before sauteeing them for me. Not only did I still think they were delicious but they were about ten cents a pound at the supermarket and what college student can balk at that?
Keeping Baby's fat intake in mind, I didn't purchase any bacon such as Applewood Smoked (my favorite) or even turkey bacon to go with our livers, which I have incorporated before with much success. Nor did I light the thing on fire with a few jiggers of brandy. I just followed Julia's recipe, straying only in using an Osborne Tawny Porto I had on hand instead of the Marsala wine that she lists. I also did not toss them in a final tablespoon of softened butter. I don't think it's really necessary. The dish came out very well, and we were both very pleased with our delightful dinner. I tore up some green leaf lettuce for a side salad and drizzled on it my favorite Shallot Champagne Vinaigrette from Michael Lomonaco's '21' Cookbook, and placed Baby's chicken livers on a bed of spinach (as Julia suggests), which I had steamed with garlic, parsley and thyme. A glass of a French Michel Girard & Fils Sancerre was a perfect accompaniment--Baby had a Pellegrino.
Et fin mes cheres, what a lovely evening at home with Chicken Livers a la Francaise!
Soundtrack: The music of good conversation.
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