Chicken Liver Toast with Spiced Pecans

Chicken Liver Toast with Spiced Pecans

Chicken Liver Toast with Spiced Pecans

At the bar Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, chicken livers are flambéed with bourbon and smeared on grilled bread with a smoky-sweet pecan garnish.Ingalls Photography

At the bar Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, chicken livers are flambéed with bourbon and smeared on grilled bread with a smoky-sweet pecan garnish. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Happy Hour: Bar Snacks.

Chicken Liver Toast with Spiced Pecans
At the bar Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, chicken livers are flambéed with bourbon and smeared on grilled bread with a smoky-sweet pecan garnish.
Yield: serves 4

For the Pecans

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. flaked salt, such as Maldon

For the Chicken Livers

  • 1 lb. chicken livers, cleaned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Country bread, sliced and grilled, for serving
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. roughly chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, preferably aged

Instructions

  1. Make the pecans: Heat oven to 375°. Toss pecans, butter, paprika, sugar, cayenne, and pepper on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake until nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant, 7–8 minutes; let cool. Roughly chop and toss with salt; set aside.
  2. Make the chicken livers: Pat livers dry using paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12” cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken livers in an even layer and sprinkle with garlic and onion; cook without stirring until browned, 1–2 minutes. Using tongs, flip livers and reduce heat to medium. Add bourbon and carefully ignite; cook until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in butter, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until livers are slightly pink in the center, about 1 minute more. Let cool slightly. Discard herbs and transfer liver mixture to a food processor; add salt and pepper and pulse until roughly chopped. To serve, spread liver mixture on grilled bread; garnish with reserved pecans, the parsley, mint, and lemon zest. Drizzle with more oil and the balsamic; sprinkle with salt and pepper.