Chicken Liver & Onion with Oregano, Cognac & Marsala on Rosemary Polenta
So, I decided to go out on a limb again this evening and post a liver recipe. Either you are cheering now, or you have already clicked away... no- wait a minute! You can't have clicked away from here- otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. So you like liver, huh? I know that I certainly do!
Having said that, liver is still not the kind of thing that anyone makes all that often... so it is quite a treat for me each time I come around to doing so. And yet, so many unfortunate people out there cringe at the thought... and I like that! All the more for us smarter people to enjoy!
The other star in this here culinary show, is the polenta... another food I love but make far too seldom. To prepare this, I boiled some water, added a little chopped rosemary and some crushed garlic, then stirred in the polenta- just enough for it to begin to thicken. I then added a little chicken broth (no, it wasn't freshly made :-) ) and turned the heat down low- firstly, because that's what you need to do... and secondly- because it will be bubbling and spitting like a little volcano!
So- back to the liver! Or much rather, to the onions! I sliced the onion and popped it into the frying pan... but rather than oil or butter, I first added just a little water- just enough to moisten them up and start them cooking. Once they were transparent, I added salt, pepper and a hint of sugar... and another splash of water. And once that water had evaporated away, I finally added a pat of butter, flipped them once or twice to get them coated, and set them to one side.
I gave the polenta a quick stir, then got back to the liver, which went into the frying pan as soon as the drizzle of olive oil I added began to sizzle. I seasoned it with pepper- no salt of course at this point, as that is what makes liver go tough, and added a little chopped garlic. I tossed the liver over so that it browned from all sides and the pan began to look a little dry... the deglazed it with a splash of cognac. I used Vecchia Romagna, but you can use whatever you have handy- or some other similar spirit that you may prefer.
I removed the pan from the heat and sprinkled everything- liver and onion, with a dusting of flour, then stirred it in and returned it to the stove and added a nice splash of Marsala... glug, glug! At this point I added a generous sprinkle of fresh oregano- and yes... the salt! I added a little water, as the gravy was beginning to thicken a little too much, then let it simmer slowly whilst I added a little nutmeg and a pat of butter to the polenta.
I served them up together, with a last sprinkle of a few little oregano leaves and a pinch of course ground pepper- and had myself a supper fit for a king!