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The liver is an organ that is primarily responsible for filtering waste products out of the blood. Chicken livers are a nutritious source of iron, a mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body and regulates healthy cell growth. One of the most common ways of preparing chicken livers is frying them. The livers have a tendency to become tough and rubbery if even slightly overcooked; therefore, it is necessary to take steps to add moisture prior to frying chicken livers, as well as to ensure the correct cooking time is used.
One of the best tips for frying chicken livers is to be soak the livers in buttermilk before cooking. Buttermilk is a product that is made by adding a type of lactic acid cultures to milk. This acid can help break down the tough fibers in the chicken livers and impart a tender texture without altering the natural taste of the livers. A marinade containing an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, may be used as an alternative to buttermilk but may change or add different flavors to the livers.
A crispy outer crust and a moist inner organ meat is the desired outcome when frying chicken livers. If a lightly crispy, thin coating is desired, the buttermilk-soaked chicken livers may be dipped in seasoned flour. The chicken livers may be dipped in beaten egg yolk and then coated in breadcrumbs before frying for a thicker, crunchier crust.
Another one of the best tips for frying chicken livers is to ensure the cooking oil is at the correct temperature before adding the livers. It is generally recommended to heat the oil until it reaches approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.67 degrees Celsius), which will help the coated chicken livers become crispy on the outside, without the coating burning before the inside is cooked through. Chicken livers typically take approximately four to five minutes total to fry in the hot oil.
Fried chicken livers hold oil and may easily become greasy, so draining them thoroughly on paper towels to remove any excess oil before serving is advised. One of the most common serving accompaniments for the dish is hot sauce, a combination of pureed chili peppers and vinegar. Fried chicken livers and hot sauce tend to be traditionally consumed in the Southern region of the United States. For people who may prefer a fresher, tangier flavor to the livers, other recipes may call for serving wedges of lemon to be squeezed onto the livers before eating.
One thing that is very important when dealing with raw chicken livers is the removal of any bile ducts before cooking. In any batch of packaged chicken livers, there are bound to be a few with a small greenish appendage attached. Pull them off and throw them away. They are very bitter, and will absolutely ruin the flavor of the liver later. Another step I've found useful is to marinate the livers with a good amount of seasoned salt before breading them. The seasoned salt adds a flavor that regular salt just doesn't do after the fact. I prefer the thinner livers with crispy outer layers myself.
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