Hate Liver? Eat It Anyway Because It’s Good for You! (Plus Dr. B’s Famous Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe)

When I was a kid, we ate at KFC quite a bit (don’t judge!) and of my favorite things on the menu was the bucket of fried chicken livers. I have such fond memories of going through the drive-through, reaching my hand into that greasy paper bag and chowing down on those crunchy little nuggets in the back seat.

 

To be honest, I don’t even know if KFC still has chicken livers on their menu, but my 5-year-old self could devour a whole container and then beg for more. I mean, really – don’t most things taste good deep-fried??

 

At such a young age, my mind had not yet been conditioned to think of certain foods as “off limits” or scary. I just ate what my parents put down in front of me and decided if it tasted good or not. And I happened to really like chicken liver.

 

And then, somewhere along my life’s journey, I learned that chicken liver was, in fact, LIVER. As in, the actual internal organ. The insides. The guts. And somehow eating guts was disgusting and weird. It’s wasn’t normal to eat organs. From that point forward, I shunned my once beloved snack and vowed to never eat such nasty things again.

 

Fast forward to today, and liver is yet again on my menu. Why? Because organ meats are the most concentrated source of nutrients you can get from food, and I am committed to eating a nutrient-dense diet.

 

Adding liver and organ meats back into my diet didn’t come easily, though. It took a long time for me to overcome the psychological resistance to “eating guts” and to get over the taste (which had become unpalatable to me, despite loving it as a kid). It also didn’t help that I’d spent my entire first year of medical school slicing and dicing human cadavers, examining their organs up close and personal. The whole idea just grossed me out! I wanted the nutrients from organ meats, though, and I needed a plan to make it happen.

 

Being the creative foodie that I am, I figured that the best way to get organ meat into my diet was to mix it with something else to disguise the taste and texture. Eventually I came up with a pâté recipe that was heavy on the onions, garlic and herbs. I used chicken liver because it tends to have a milder taste than beef liver. The rich flavors of the seasonings mask the liver taste and you’re left with a deliciously rich, savory spread. Success!

 

A quick word about liver: It’s not really true that the liver stores toxins. The liver filters toxins, but it doesn’t store them. Therefore, you don’t need to worry that eating liver will pump you full of toxins. By all means –  if you can find a good source of organic free-range liver, then snatch it up and make this recipe ASAP. If you can’t find organic free-range liver, then make this recipe anyway! In my opinion, the nutritional benefits of eating liver and other organs outweigh the risks of eating non-organic meats. If you’re healing from a chronic illness, then you can’t afford to not include organ meats in your diet several times per week.

 

I am so happy to share this recipe with you. These chicken livers aren’t deep-fried, but the end result is just as tasty, if not better. Seriously – this stuff is GOOD.  And it’s very inexpensive to make! Best of all, it’s a nutrition powerhouse full of Vitamin A, B-vitamins, iron, magnesium and more. When I bring this dish to parties, there are never any leftovers and everybody wants the recipe. It’s great with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, plantain chips, or just on its own.

 

This recipe makes about 2 cups and freezes beautifully. For an extra boost of Coenzyme Q10 (which is important for heart health and energy production), try swapping out half of the liver for chicken hearts instead. It tastes just as good!

 

In addition to this pâté, here are some other (non-scary) ways to add
organ meats to your diet:

  • Add puréed liver, kidneys or heart to soups, stews and chili
  • Add puréed liver, kidneys or heart to meatballs or meatloaf
  • Use chopped beef heart in beef stew or chili

««—»»

Dr. B’s Famous Chicken Liver Pâté 

Ingredients:

  •  1 large yellow onion, diced or thinly sliced
  •  1 pound chicken livers, rinsed and drained well (remove any green gallbladders)
  •  8 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  •  3 dried bay leaves
  •  3/4 tsp. salt
  •  1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper (omit for AIP)
  •  1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  •  1 tsp. dried rosemary
  •  6 tablespoons water, divided
  •  Optional: 2 Tbsp. Cognac, brandy or whisky (omit for AIP)
  • 1½ sticks (12 Tbsp.) salted grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold® (omit for AIP)
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter for sautéing (use coconut oil for AIP)

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan or skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and fully caramelized, about 20-30 minutes (you may need to reduce the heat to low-medium to prevent burning). Transfer the caramelized onions to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the livers, garlic and bay leaves; sauté for 2 minutes, then sprinkle in the salt, pepper (if using), thyme and rosemary. Continue cooking until the livers are fully cooked through with no pink remaining, and have browned on the outside.

Add the 3 tablespoons of water to the hot skillet and gently scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the liquor if using. Turn off the heat. Remove 2 of the bay leaves, leaving one in the skillet.

Add the onions, the livers with all of the skillet contents, plus the remaining 3 tablespoons of water to a food processor; purée for a few seconds. Add the 12 tablespoons of butter (if using), 4 to 5 chunks at a time, puréeing after each addition. Continue to purée until the mixture is very smooth and homogenous.

Transfer the pâté to a bowl and cover. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours. This dish is best served at room temperature.

Pâté will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days and freezes very well.

 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the professional advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Never avoid, disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice, or change any of your prescribed medical treatments because of something you have read on this blog. If you try any therapies or recommendations discussed on this blog, you do so at your own risk.

 

Are you struggling with your health? Our clinic proudly serves the Boulder and Denver, Colorado metro areas including Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Arvada, Thornton and Westminster. Schedule a complimentary 10-minute phone consultation to find out how we may be able to help you.

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