Sunday, April 19, 2009

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Balsamic Chicken Livers and Kale

When you only eat a little meat, sometimes you want to make it count. Inspired by Mario Batali to try new cuts of meat, I introduce this recipe. 1 cup of chicken livers provides 90% RDA daily iron, 373% Vitamin A, 65% Vitamin C, and 34.2 grams of protein. And they're cheap! The balsamic and lemon flavors in this recipe blend with the chicken livers to make them taste deliciously meaty, not game-y. A wonderful and different surprise for your palate.

Serves: 2 (easily multiplied)
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (half of a standard package)
1/4 c EVOO
1 red onion or regular onion, diced, or 2 leeks
1 c Chicken livers
1 bunch kale, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4-1/2 t red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Add kale to pasta cooking water for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and kale together. Return to pot. Kale should be on top.
Meanwhile . . .
2. Heat EVOO in a 10-12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until just short of smoking.
3. Brown chicken livers for ~8 minutes. Break up with spatula in pan. Transfer to plate.
4. Add more oil or butter to skillet if necessary. Add onion to skillet and cook until softened, ~6-8 minutes.
5. Return chicken livers to pan. Add vinegar (watch out for fumes). Use tongs to add the kale (or most of it). Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
6. Add vinegar mixture to pasta. Add lemon juice and zest. Toss thoroughly for 1-2 minutes over low heat. Serve.

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