Crispy Chicken Livers with Avery Island Ketchup

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Chef Shaun Garcia has fond memories of his grandma, her restaurant and the big plates of fried chicken livers she used to make for him when he was a kid. Recreating the recipe for his own guests, Garcia now servers these crispy morsels at his bar at Soby’s in South Carolina, winning over even people who are initially skittish about liver.

Makes 6 to 8 appetizer-sized portions

Avery Island ketchup Ingredients

  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in puree
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Livers Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 lb chicken livers, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make ketchup first: Puree tomatoes and liquid in blender until smooth.
  2. Cook onion in oil in large, heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring until softened. About 6 to 7 minues. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, Tabasco sauce, vinegar and salt. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour.
  3. Puree ketchup in batches in blender. Chill.
  4. Preheat vegetable oil in a fryer to 350F.
  5. Trim excess fat from livers, separate lobes. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Note: If livers are large and plump, you may wish to cut them into smaller 1-inch-sized chunks.
  6. Season half of the flour with coarse-ground pepper and baking powder. Leave the other 2 cups of flour plain
  7. Dust livers with plain flour and tap off excess. Dip in buttermilk, then roll in seasoned flour.
  8. Drop livers in oil in small batches and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Season with kosher salt and serve with Avery Island Ketchup.

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