Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken Liver or Chicken Recipe- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

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I have a stash of chicken livers in my freezer from when my local grocery store had them on sale very cheap. Chicken liver and liver in general is very full of nutrients, and in fact is considered to be a superfood among traditional foodists and native cultures around the world.
Its a terrific source of vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron. See here for a more thorough analysis of the nutrients in liver.
The problem with liver though is that it usually ends up dry after cooking it, kind of like egg yolks, with a slight bitter aftertaste. A common way, then, to make liver is as a pate/spread, ground up with fried onions, oil, hardboiled eggs, etc... but I'll be honest, I'm not the hugest fan, and neither are my kids.

I found this recipe for sweet and sour chicken livers, which is a terrific way to cook them very flavorfully so their strong taste and interesting texture are masked, and they're more enjoyable to eat. I changed up the recipe to make it healthier and all natural. If you're not a liver fan or can't get your hands on it, you can make this with chicken chunks instead.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Liver or Chicken Recipe- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

1 lb chicken livers or other types of boneless chicken
3 tablespoons oil
1 onion
2 zucchini
1-2 peppers, any color
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons honey (or coconut sugar or white sugar to taste)
1 can pineapple chunks plus its liquid- 1/2 cup (take a can packed in pineapple juice)
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup potato starch

1. Cook chicken livers (or chicken) however you want- grilled, sauted, fried, or baked. I grill my livers.

2. Chop your onions and saute in oil until translucent.

3. Chop your zucchini and peppers and saute with the onions until soft.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, other than the chicken livers, adjusting the flavors until the taste is perfect, and then heat up until thickened.

5. Add the liver.

6. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Instead of using zucchini or peppers, use any vegetables that would be nice in a stir fry, such as mushrooms or carrots or broccoli.
Instead of using canned pineapple, use any fruit, fresh or canned, like peach or plum chunks, or canned mandarin oranges. Instead of the juice from the can, use a mix of water, honey/sugar, and lemon. Adjust the amount of lemon and honey in the recipe to account for the difference in flavor if not using pineapple.

Are you a fan of liver? What is your favorite way to make liver? If you eat liver, is it because you like it or because of the nutrition in it?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try? Would you try it with liver or with chicken parts?


  1. I read somewhere that only organic chicken liver is good to Eat. Non organic chicken liver is filled with hormones and antibiotics.

    1. I've heard mixed reports on this, and I think everyone needs to make their own decision. This, by the way, applies to all chicken and meat, not just to liver. There are three options here: 1) Buy organic chicken/meat- not everyone can afford that. 2) Skip meat/chicken because you can't afford organic. 3) Eat non organic meat and chicken.
      I realize that non organic chicken and meat has hormones and antibiotics in it, and I really, truly, sincerely wish I could afford to buy organic chicken and meat, but I can't. So I have to chose between 2 and 3. 2 would mean going without all the wonderful nutrition that meat provides, organic or not, and 3 means getting the nutrition together with the bad stuff. I choose to go with 3 because I think good nutrition with some toxins trumps nutrition deficiency with fewer toxins (or is it really fewer, because I can't afford organic veggies, etc.. anyhow, so we'd be getting toxins no matter what we eat?) because with good nutrition your body works properly and is able to eliminate toxins more easily.
      But its a choice you have to make.

  2. I love chicken livers, and this recipe looks great. I usually make chicken livers the way my Hungarian grandmother does, with lots of onions and paprika.

    Btw, the liver doesn't store toxins, it filters them. So while it's better to eat all meat organic (but who can afford that?), livers don't need to be organic more than any other meat does.

  3. I have yet to try liver, but I know I need to! I've heard it is so good for you! I will try this recipe.. yikes I'm kind of scared :)


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