This sauteed chicken liver recipe is very easy to make and full of unique flavor.
You only need a few ingredients like onions, Caribbean green seasoning and turmeric.
As you sauté the liver with these ingredients, be sure to allow the meat to develop a slight char. The taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture will make you ask for more.
What is in this chicken liver recipe
This ingredients list is short. You’ll need:
- chicken liver
- Caribbean green seasoning (with chadon beni, garlic, pepper)
- turmeric powder
- geera or cumin powder
When cleaning the liver, you will also need flour or lime juice to wash the organ. This helps to remove any ‘fresh’ taste from the meat.
If you can’t get your hands on green seasoning, try using a simple pesto or chopped cilantro leaves.
How to make this chicken liver recipe
To make this recipe: prepare the ingredients and then sauté them together. Simple!
Prepare the chicken liver
Step 1: Clean the liver. Chicken livers have two lobes connected by a thick membrane. The green gall bladder may also be attached. Cut the membrane and gall bladder out. Wash the organ thoroughly to remove any excess blood. The liver should be bright red. I also added some gizzard parts.
Step 2: Add a tablespoon of flour per liver. Mix properly for a minute before rinsing again. This should remove any ‘freshness’.
Season the chicken liver
Step 3: Add fresh Caribbean green seasoning, turmeric and geera (cumin) powder To the washed liver. Mix together.
Step 4: Cover and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
Cook the liver
Step 5: Place a cast iron or non-stick pan on the stove on medium heat. Add a small amount of oil, enough to coat the base of the pan.
Step 6: Chop one onion. Drop into the hot oil and allow to cook until slightly brown.
Step 7: Add the marinated liver. Mix properly and cover. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and mix to prevent any sticking.
Step 8: When the liver becomes light colored and tender, it is cooked. But leave the liver to brown and develop a nice smoky taste.
Remove from the heat and serve as a side or in a sandwich.
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Pros and cons of eating liver
Chicken liver is a nutrient dense food but must be eaten in moderation for a number of reasons.
According to the USDA food database, the average chicken liver is 44 grams. So roughly liver from two chickens will give close to 100 grams, which most nutrient levels are based on.
Pros for eating chicken liver
It is a protein-rich food
The food database notes chicken liver has 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of liver. Compare that to chicken eggs which contain 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.
The recommended amount of protein you should have is 0.8 grams per kilo of your body weight (multiply 0.36 by your weight in pounds). So, a 140 lb woman needs about 50 grams per day and two livers can provide that.
It is rich in iron
On average, there are 12 mg of iron in 100g of chicken liver. You need less than 20 mg a day.
Iron is important for making haemoglobin in red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. So, liver is a good food source of iron for those prone to anaemia.
It’s high in phosphorous
Liver provides about 50% of your phosphorous requirement per 100 grams.
Phosphorous is important for building DNA, bones, and teeth. It also helps with metabolising food and transporting nutrients in the body.
It’s also high in zinc
Like phosphorous, liver has about 50% of your zinc requirement per 100 grams for women (a little less than 50% for men).
Remember, zinc is an important mineral for immunity and healing.
Chicken liver has lots of Vitamin A
The vitamin A levels in liver are roughly 4,300 micrograms per 100 g. Men need just 900 and women need 700. So, liver provides well over 600% of the vitamin for women.
Vitamin A is especially important for vision and eye health. It also assists with immunity, bone growth, and reduced cancer risk.
However, the upper recommended limit for vitamin A is 3,000 micrograms. Too much of the vitamin can be harmful to your health and can cause vitamin A toxicity. So, enjoy liver in moderation.
It is packed with B vitamins
Chicken liver is especially rich in B vitamins. Here’s a little summary table using the USDA food information and the Harvard recommendations:
|Vit||Daily value (%) per 100 g||Function|
|B2||200%||needed for metabolism and a healthy body.|
|B3||100%||needed for metabolism and a healthy body.|
|B5||160%||needed for metabolism and to make hormones and haemoglobin|
|B6||65%||needed to produce blood cells and serotonin, which regulates sleep and mood.|
|B9 (folic acid)||140% (for men and non-pregnant women)||needed to create new cells, reduces risk of heart disease and some cancers|
|B12||880%||needed to create new cells, blood cells, DNA, protects nerve cells and reduces risk of heart disease|
|Choline||80%||needed to make a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) which impacts the brain and nerves.|
Cons for eating chicken liver
Chicken liver has high levels of cholesterol
100 grams of liver contains 564 mg of cholesterol. That’s almost double the recommended amount for healthy adults and triple the recommended amount for adults at high risk for heart disease.
If your cholesterol is very high, you might want to skip this recipe.
It is TOO rich in Vitamin A
As I mentioned earlier, 100 grams of liver can provide more Vitamin A than the recommended upper limit.
Too much vitamin A can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. So, moderation is key.
It’ll get you sick if not cooked properly
Chicken liver can contain bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. These can get you pretty sick so it is important to cook the liver properly.
The US food safety agency recommends:
- handling the raw organ properly to prevent cross-contamination
- cooking the liver to an internal temperature of 165°F.
The liver can contain residue for pesticides
Although the function of the liver is to filter toxins from the blood, the organ itself does not store toxins.
However, persistent pesticides and related compounds have been found in chicken liver samples from multiple studies including this 2018 one.
So, be sure to try organic or free-range chicken liver for your recipe.
Ask your poultry shop about what they use – if the toxins are in the liver, they’ll also be in the meat.
Chicken liver recipe
Chicken Liver Recipe with Onions and Caribbean Seasoning
- 4 chicken livers
- 1 tbsp Caribbean green seasoning (with chadon beni, garlic, pepper)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp geera (cumin) powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- flour or lime juice
- Remove liver membrane and gall bladder.
- Wash the liver to remove excess blood.
- Mix the liver with flour or lime juice and rinse again.
- Marinate the liver with turmeric, cumin and Caribbean green seasoning for 30 minutes.
- To a small pan on medium heat, add enough oil to coat the base.
- Add chopped onion.
- Sauté until the edges brown.
- Mix in seasoned liver.
- Cover pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and stir to prevent any sticking.
- Continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes until the liver pieces develop a red-brown char.
- Remove from heat and serve.
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