Chicken Livers with Marsala

, from Issue #53. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chicken Livers with Marsala

In this classic preparation, Marsala wine adds a deep richness to the sauce and the creamy slices of polenta soak up all the lovely juices.

Serves: 2-4


250 grams fresh chicken livers
1 tablespoon olive oil
small knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
 cup Marsala
¼ cup chicken stock or water
½ cup purchased tomato pasta sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


3 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
¾ cup instant polenta
2-3 tablespoons Porcini Crema
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To finish
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan


Remove all the sinew from the livers and cut each one in half, or into thirds if large.

Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan and add the onion, garlic and chilli flakes with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook until tender.

Increase the heat and add the livers. Cook for 2 minutes until lightly golden on both sides. Add the Marsala and let it bubble up then add the stock and pasta sauce. Season and cook until the sauce has reduced a little and is glossy.

Add the parsley and serve immediately with the polenta or crusty bread and a salad. Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a light meal or entrée

Cook’s tip: You can freeze the remaining pasta sauce for another time.

Polenta: Put the milk, garlic and rosemary in a medium saucepan and season generously. Bring to the boil then gradually drizzle in the polenta, whisking constantly until it comes to the boil and thickens. 

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the porcini crema if using then tip into a 24 cm ovenproof sauté pan or baking dish and spread evenly. Cool for 20 minutes or cool completely then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To finish: Preheat the grill to its highest heat. Scatter the Parmesan over the polenta along with a grind of pepper and grill until golden brown and the polenta is hot. Cut into fingers or wedges to serve.

Pantry note: Porcini Crema is a rich cream made from porcini mushrooms. It’s available from good food stores and some supermarkets.