Marks Daily Apple
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10 Jul

Cajun Blackened Chicken Livers with Lemon and Garlic

In recent years, nose to tail eating has been embraced by celebrity chefs and gourmands, but it’s hardly a new idea. Eating an entire animal, not just the prime cuts of meat, is seen by many as a way to respect the animal that has been butchered, not to mention it’s darn practical. “Waste not, want not” is something many grandmothers preached long before terms like “sustainability” were being thrown around. Speaking of grandmothers….for many of us, the savory aroma of liver frying in a pan brings us right back to her kitchen. If your grandmother was like most, liver was either fried up with onions or chopped up with hard boiled eggs. It was not done up Cajun-style and served over a bed of greens, but we’re thinking if it was, we just might have eaten more of it.

Cajun Blackened Chicken Livers with Lemon and Garlic is the first offal recipe for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook, and for those of you a little hesitant to venture into the world of offal, this is a safe and delicious place to start. Nicola Aylin’s easy and richly flavorful recipe combines an array of spices with chicken liver and fresh greens doused in lemon, garlic and butter. As far as liver goes, chicken liver is quite mild and has a smooth texture. The spicy seasoning blend sprinkled on top dominates the dish and gives the liver a crispy coating that contrasts with the smooth, rich middle. Laying the liver on a bed of salad greens lightens up the dish and makes Cajun Blackened Chicken Livers with Lemon and Garlic the perfect summer lunch or dinner.

Liver is possibly the animal organ eaten most often in the U.S., as it’s easily found in grocery stores, takes little time to prepare and is very affordable. Most people who buy liver might not even realize they’re picking up an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Liver contains vitamin A and several B vitamins, is a source of folic acid, iron and copper and contains CoQ10 for cardiovascular function.

It doesn’t get much better than that and an offal recipe doesn’t get much easier than Nicola’s tasty Cajun chicken livers, a recipe that proves eating offal isn’t so awful after all.


  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 6 cups spinach leaves, lettuce leaves or half a head iceburg lettuce, shredded


  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed


Trim chicken livers, discarding connective tissue and separating larger livers into two lobes.

To make Cajun seasoning, mix together paprika, cayenne, garlic and onion powders, black and white peppers, thyme, oregano and salt.

Add livers to the seasoning mixture and toss to coat then brush livers with either melted butter or olive oil.

Choose your cooking method:

a) Preheat broiler to highest setting. Place liver on a rimmed baking sheet and on top rack in oven, broil under high heat. Turn once, until blackened on outside and centre of thickest part is pink, about 8 minutes.


b) Place chicken livers in a cast iron pan pre-heated to medium and cook on both sides, about 2-3 mins per side.

Place hot chicken livers on lettuce or spinach. Combine dressing ingredients in a hot pan until garlic is very lightly browned, then drizzle over livers and greens as a warm dressing.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I like chicken liver much more than beef, although I eat both. As a child, my parents and grandparents ate all parts of the animal, they were 1st generation. So I learned to love liver, kidneys, sweetmeats, chicken feet, cockscomb, even veal brains, even though you can’t really get it anymore. I never developed much liking for pigs feet or ears.

    Kathy wrote on December 31st, 2011
  2. OH. MY. This was divine. First time eating offal and I think I’m in love. Thank you for such a gloriously delicious and simple recipe! I can’t wait to explore more with tasty organs. Mmmmm….

    Manda wrote on March 18th, 2012
  3. I made this today to try and get my husband to try liver again after over 30 years. My kids and I LOVED it. He tried it but did not care for it. Oh well. Me and the kids sure will get to enjoy it more often since this recipe is a keeper and I will be making it again soon! Thanks!

    Melissa wrote on March 27th, 2012
  4. These are delicious! Even though I’m the only one home tonight, I went ahead and made the whole lb. I’m having them with a cup of chicken stock, baked kabocha squash, & I guess I’ll shred some Romaine and drizzle a little olive oil, lemon, and garlic granules over it. I don’t plan to eat them all tonight (leftovers with eggs, shrooms, and ramps in the morning sounds pretty good), but I’ve already put a pretty good dent in the pile…, so we’ll see!

    HarpLady wrote on April 17th, 2012
  5. this is my first time to eat liver. The flavor was excellent, it’s the texture I will have to get used to. But I do have to say, it wasn’t as bad as I expected

    Lauri wrote on October 10th, 2012
    • I hate the taste and texture of liver. I found a recipe where everything is ground together in the food processor. Onions, liver and can’t remember off hand what else.

      The taste of liver is still there, (I drown it in Frank’s hot sauce so I can eat it) but the objectionable texture is gone.

      Sharon wrote on October 10th, 2012
  6. I’m making this recipe tonight–picked up some pastured chicken livers a day or two ago. I love liver, and by the way, Gary Taubes makes the point that the big cats and other predators eat the organs and fat first, and leave the muscle for scavengers. Also, hippos and elephants are vegetarians. Personally, I’d rather look like a cheetah, so it’s liver and fat for me, baby.

    Oh, yes, and in the crockpot now–buffalo and butternut cocoa chili. Yum. That’ll make for good breakfast!

    Susan Slattery wrote on November 29th, 2013
  7. I tried this – hated it! It has nothing to do with the recipe itself. I think I realized liver is not for me. It wasn’t the taste so much as it was the texture.

    Katie wrote on April 18th, 2015

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