Chicken Liver Tacos
I recently bought a pound of chicken livers from Lotus Farms – one of the very best chicken producers ever! — thinking I’d make a pate. But at the same market, I also bought fresh corn tortillas, and the combination led me away from pate toward tacos. I pulled my copy of Rick Bayless’ Authentic Mexican from my shelf and found his “Pan-fried Chicken Livers with Tomatillo Sauce.” I didn’t have tomatillos on hand, however, so I went online and, at a website created by Janine Farzin called “Offally Good Cooking,” found a slightly different version of chicken liver tacos inspired by the Bayless recipe but with pico de gallo instead of tomatillo sauce. What luck! I had plenty of tomatoes, onion, chiles (fresh jalapenos), and cilantro fresh from the market, and so I put the tacos together for supper. Muy sabroso!
Pico de Gallo
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped small
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 bird’s eye chili pepper, minced (optional)
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 T lard
- 1 lb chicken livers
- 1 onion, in half moon slices
- salt and pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- Make your pico de gallo salsa by chopping tomatoes, onion, cilantro and optional chili pepper. Combine in a bowl. Add lime juice and salt to taste and mix well. Set aside.
- Prep your chicken livers by cutting off any stringy bits, drying with a paper towel and setting on a plate. Slice onion and set aside.
- Set some water in a steamer pot, wrap your corn tortillas in a dish towel, and set them in the steamer basket. Turn to high and when water boils, turn to low and keep steaming while you prepare the remainder of the dish.
- Heat lard in pan over medium-high. When hot, pan-fry the livers for 3-4 minutes on the first side until nicely browned. Turn over with tongs or a spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a clean plate and season with salt and pepper while still warm. Note: don’t crowd the pan, you might need to cook them in more than one batch.
- After you’ve removed the liver from the pan, add the onions and stir to pick up any browned bits and juices in the pan. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add livers and any juices back to the pan. Stir to combine the liver and onions.
- Assemble your tacos. Use tongs to remove tortillas (they may be hot!), add liver and onions (getting some onions in each taco), and cover in pico de gallo (or salsa of your choice). Enjoy!
This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!