Chicken Livers – An Interesting Way

Jacques Pépin just taught me how to make chicken livers in an interesting way. I’ve always loved fried chicken livers. Growing up, I could count on them always being on the menu. I just couldn’t get enough. But I never had chicken livers anyway but fried. Well, on Mother’s Day, that all changed. That’s when lovely Daughter #1 gave me a new cookbook – Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple. And that is when I first learned about Chicken Livers Persillade.

Hi! Chef Blondie here.

Serendipity Farmhouse

I have to admit that it was my dear Hubby who found the recipe. He and I share this love for liver of all types. As soon as he stumbled upon the recipe on page 318, he shouted, “Eurika!” or some such thing. When he showed me the recipe, my first words were, “Where can we find some chicken livers?! The SFH Test Kitchen is going to make this ASAP!”

Testing Jacques’s Chicken Livers Persillade

We had planned to publish a gardening post today. But Jacques’s cookbook with its great new recipe, combined with the availability of chicken livers and other ingredients, demanded that we disregard our weekly posting schedule. Well, to be more truthful, Hubby and I wanted to have chicken livers, and we wanted them, “Right now!”

It was to that end that we hastily mobilized the entire staff of the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen. They all assembled, and we discussed the task. We quickly came to complete agreement on the course of action and grabbed our aprons.

Using Persnickety Pierre’s Criteria of Excellence, we explored why this recipe introduces one to the preparation of chicken livers in an interesting way.

1. Level of the Chicken Livers Persillade challenge

By its very name, Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple, the title describes the level of challenge in this recipe – “Quick and Simple.” The basic technique of sautéing is at the heart of preparation of this dish. However, because Jacques recommends that the livers be cooked at high heat, the butter and oil will have a tendency to splatter. – A word to the wise, be prepared to cover the pan with a splatter screen. Cleaning up oil splatters takes time and detracts from the enjoyment of the meal.

2. Selection of good-quality ingredients

One great joy of cooking is being able to use ingredients of your own making or from your own garden. How unfortunate it was that our homegrown garlic had run out just a few days earlier. We had to use store-bought.

On the other hand, the parsley in our herb garden was thriving. So, we were able to enjoy its fresh flavor in the persillade. (Read more about persillade in Criterion 4 below.)

One big bonus in ingredient selection, was the fact that Hubby recently scored a huge success with a sourdough bread recipe. Not only had the bread come out just perfect, but for the first time, some of our own home-milled hard white wheat was incorporated in the recipe.

When toasted, four slices of this loaf became the perfect foundation for the cooked chicken livers persillade.

3. Use of cooking techniques for Jacques’s Chicken Livers

The two primary techniques used in preparing this dish are quite simple and straightforward. The liver is sautéed, and then the persillade is added. At that point, the pan is immediately removed from the burner. So simple – So elegant. This recipe can make a beginner look like a pro.

4. Development of superior taste and flavor

Persillade is a sauce or seasoning mixture of parsley chopped together with seasonings including garlic, herbs, oil, and vinegar. Jacques Pépin uses persillade in a range of diverse dishes. For example, in his Roe and Liver Persillade recipe, he demonstrates that a persillade adapts just as well to a fish dish as it does with chicken livers.

Persillade is a common ingredient in many dishes. You might think of it as a standard sauté cook’s mise en place. It is basically built around parsley and garlic. In Jacques’s Chicken Livers recipe, the persillade is added at the very end of the cooking process. That way, the garlic and parsley remain in the foreground and work side-by-side with the flavor of the sautéed livers. – Nothing is hidden.

On the other hand, if you add the persillade early in the cooking process, the parsley and garlic flavors mellow out, and they give an entirely different presentation to the flavor and aroma of the dish.

5. Presentation

Chicken Livers Persillade is a simple dish. It’s rather rustic and the use of toasted slices from a large country loaf like our homemade sourdough bread enhances the impression. So, no need to be fancy. Simply serve and enjoy.

A Couple of Practical Notes

At $1.96 for 1¼ pounds of chicken livers, Chicken Livers Persillade is a gourmet meal without the gourmet expense. According to Jacques, 12 ounces of chicken livers will provide four servings. The SFH Test Kitchen staff had no idea what it would do with the extra 8 ounces of livers. That is when I stepped in and said, “We will cook them all.”

So, we cooked them all. – – Please refrain from asking the obvious question, “Were there any leftovers?” My staff is sworn to secrecy.

chicken livers; Jacques Pépin

Chicken Livers Persillade

This quick dish should be prepared at the last moment and served immediately. It makes a nice appetizer for a dinner, and it can also be served with salad as a main course for a brunch or light lunch.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4


  • 1 Nonstick pan at least 9 inches in diameter


  • 12 ounces chicken livers, about 14 preferably plump and pale in color
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil We used EVOO.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine (2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices from a large country loaf, ½ inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter, toasted We used homemade sourdough bread.


  • Separate each liver into its two halves, discarding any connecting sinews.
  • Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick pan at least 9 inches in diameter.
  • When the mixture is a hazelnut color, add the livers in one layer and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute, taking care to avoid splatters. (If using more than 12 ounces of liver, cook a little longer on each side.)
  • Add the persillade (garlic and parsley) and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Mix well.
    chicken livers; Jacques Pépin
  • Place a slice or two of toast on each plate, top with the liver, and serve immediately.
    chicken livers; Jacques Pépin
Keyword Chicken livers

4 thoughts on “Chicken Livers – An Interesting Way”

  1. Not being a huge fan of liver in general (it’s on my “not crazy about” list along with foods such as okra and calamari), I can only say I might try this recipe, given your unreserved “DELICIOUS!!” rating, noting well the all caps and TWO exclamation points. Maybe. Thank you for sharing though. It was an interesting and enjoyable read.

Leave a Reply