When our daughter was very young, we were fortunate to have a series of wonderful Chinese caregivers for her – they loved her as one of their own and spoiled her rotten: multi-dish hot lunches were the norm (is it any wonder she can’t think of a cold sandwich as lunch to this day?), and one of her very favorite dishes (although she’ll deny this vociferously now) was simmered chicken livers. One day she asked for this for dinner, so off to the store we went, only to find that the chicken livers were not available. A loud wailing ensued, and an older woman bent over the stroller: “Oh, honey, won’t your mommy buy you a cookie?” She totally did NOT believe that the tears were being shed over chicken livers….
Not a lot of people seem to eat liver these days, but my husband and I do like it, so we took advantage of some extra turkey livers being available at the farm where we buy our Thanksgiving turkey. This dish is quick and tasty (if you’re a fan of liver) and can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold.
- 1 lb chicken (or duck or turkey) livers
- 1/4 c dark soy sauce
- 1/4 c light soy sauce
- 1/4 c Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 T brown or raw cane sugar
- 1/2-3/4 c water
- 2 scallions, cut into 2″ sections
- 3 slices fresh ginger root
- 2 cloves star anise or 1/2 tsp anise seed
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- Boil 4 c water, then pour it over the livers in a bowl. Give it a gentle stir, then drain and rinse the livers in cold water.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a small pot, add the livers, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 m.
- Turn off the heat and allow the livers to sit another 5 m.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve hot, drizzled with a bit of the liquid.
You can remove the livers from the liquid and reduce it at a rolling boil, then use the resulting syrup as a drizzle on the livers.
This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and either served cold or gently reheated. Store the livers in the liquid in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.