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Chicken Liver Crostini Recipe - Crostini di Fegatini di Pollo

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No festive Tuscan meal would be complete without chicken liver crostini, thin slices of toasted bread spread with a tasty chicken liver pate that even makes converts out of liver haters.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Chicken livers
  • Onion or shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Prosciutto fat
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • White wine or Marsala

Preparation:

Even those who cannot stand liver will like this, cryptically presented by Aldo Santini in La Cucina Fiorentina: "Remove the gall bladders from the livers without breaking them. And then it's as easy as 123. Pot or skillet. Mince and sauté white onion or shallot in olive oil, adding prosciutto fat, parsley, celery and carrot -- a little of each.

Coarsely chop and add the livers. Sprinkle with white wine. Let evaporate. When the livers are half done remove them from the pot and mince them, with a few previously steeped dried porcini. Finish cooking the paté over a low flame, moistening it with broth, white wine or Marsala. Feel free to make variations, for example capers or anchovies instead of mushrooms. The drinks are on me if you can find two Florentine homes or restaurants whose crostini taste (even remotely) alike."

Perhaps they're presented too cryptically; you will want 3 to 4 chicken livers to begin with, about a tablespoon of onion, and a couple of teaspoons each of the remaining herbs, and the amount of prosciutto fat that comes from one or two slices. The spread is done when the chicken livers are completely cooked; it takes about 10 minutes of simmering (with constant stirring) after you return the ground mixture to the stove.

A variation on the standard crostini di fegatini di pollo, which I prefer, has you mince 2 teaspoons each onion and prosciutto. Sauté the mixture in a dollop of olive oil, and when it has browned, add 3-4 minced chicken livers and 4-5 leaves of sage. Sprinkle with white wine, let evaporate, and when the livers are half done, remove them from the pan and mince them to a fine paste with the sage. Return the mixture to the fire, season it with salt and pepper, stir in a teaspoon of flour to bind it, and finish cooking it over a low flame, moistening it with broth, or more white wine, and a pat of butter as you remove it from the flames. Artusi suggests you also stir in a tablespoon of grated Parmigiano just before you remove the paté from the fire.

Once the mixture is ready, spread it on thinly sliced bread. Tuscan bakeries make special crostini loaves shaped in profile like the suits of playing cards. Elegant, but a baguette will work as well, as will squares of quick-fried polenta. Serve as an antipasto.

A wine? A white, perhaps a Vernaccia di San Gimignano or a white from the Val D'Arbia.

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