This recipe came about from my recent travels to Abu Dhabi while in a market looking for inspiration and ingredients for my scheduled cooking demos for the next few days. I had decided earlier to make coxinhas and so when getting the chicken for the coxinhas the butcher randomly asked me if I’d want some chicken livers too.
“Well, yes!” I said. And so I decided there and then that would be the hero of the dish. Next, I went through the spice section and picked up some dry spices and herbs, garlic, oregano, and paprika to name a few. I was starting to get an idea of what was coming up…
After I headed to the bakery where an insanely good smell drew me towards some freshly baked potato buns, delicious, sweet, fluffy and perfect for a hand-held snack. Then to the fruit and veg section, red cabbage, white cabbage, some apples and then finally a few red chillis.
I came up with southern-fried chicken livers, cabbage, chilli and apple slaw in a mini potato bun. Yep, North American inspired but born in the middle east. Out in the U.A.E., I made it with roasted garlic and chicken fat mayonnaise (since no pork is allowed). However, now back in England I’ve changed the mayonnaise to include an ingredient that was made to go with liver, BACON! Using strained smoked bacon fat and adding the rendered crispy lardons, I make baconnaise, check it out...
My Southern-fried chicken liver sliders with chili slaw & baconnise
makes 8 sliders
- 400g chicken livers (for non-liver lovers, chicken filets will work as well)
- 300ml of plain yogurt
- 200g gram flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 8 mini potato buns or mini brioche rolls
For the chilli slaw:
- ¼ head cabbage, sliced thinly
- ¼ head purple cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1 banana shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 whole chilli, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (can use any chilli you like)
- a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
For the baconnaise:
- 100-150g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons, diced
- 150-200ml mild light olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- juice of half a lemon
- 1tsp dijon mustard
First, the chicken livers will need to be marinaded. Mix, all of the dried spices together. Pour the yogurt into a large bowl and add 1 tbsp of the dried spice mixture and mix. Then add the chicken livers to the yogurt mixture and stir though. Cling film the bowl and refrigerate for 1 - 4 hours.
Add the remaining spices to the gram flour, mix and put to one side to use as your southern coating (Gram flour is gluten-free, and I prefer the taste over plain/self-raising flour).
For the baconnaise:
In a frying pan, heat a tbsp of olive oil and fry the bacon lardons until crispy. Strain the oil into a bowl and keep the crispy bacon separate. Allow the 'bacon oil' to cool slightly.
In a food processor, blitz the egg yolks and mustard until combined. Keep the food processor running and slowly pour in the bacon fat exactly like you would if you were making mayonnaise. When all 'bacon oil' is all used up, move on to olive oil and continue to pour until you have your desired mayonnaise consistency. You may not need to use all of the oil. Add the lemon juice and crispy bacon to the baconnaise, season with pepper and fold through. Keep to one side until needed (make in advance and will keep for up to three days in a sealed container in the fridge).
For the chili slaw:
In a bowl combine the cabbage, shallot, chili and coriander. In another bowl mix together all the remaining ingredients, the whole milk, mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cabbage salad and toss to combine. Clingfilm and place to one side until needed or in the fridge (can be made in advance and will keep for three days in a sealed container in the fridge. But I like to keep the dressing and salad separate until right before serving, as it keeps the salad crunchy and fresh).
Pre-heat a deep fat fryer to 180C. Pour the seasoned flour into a tray, take the marinaded chicken livers from the bowl and individually place into the flour. With your hands press and pack the flour around each liver creating a coating. Carefully place the breaded chicken livers into the flyer basket and dip into the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes with a lid on.
ATTENTION: Liver can spit and pop when fried. Use a lid as a precaution to avoid any issues.
Lastly, to assemble your burger (if you can get your hands on mini potato buns, DO IT!), cut in half and toast on a hot pan. On the bottom bun spread some baconnaise, then add the southern-fried chicken livers, followed by a heaped spoonful of the slaw and then top with the other half of the bun.