Chicken Livers with Mushrooms and Herbs

Chicken Livers 1Chicken livers are not, perhaps, the first thing your eyes are drawn to in the butcher’s case. Most people don’t salivate over a slippery mound of raw livers like they do over a thick steak. However, chicken livers are a primal food that you should be eating more of. They’re high in folate, zinc, vitamin A and copper. They’re also really affordable. This recipe, combining chicken livers with lots of fresh herbs and exotic mushrooms, turns a typically homely plate of livers into a rather stunning appetizer or main course.

What you get from this recipe is lot of umami flavor. When you’re buying dried mushrooms, look for a mix of different types like porcini, chanterelle, oyster, lion’s mane, or anything else you can find. Even throw in some morels if you want to splurge. You’ll notice the mild, creamy chicken livers in the dish, but really, mushrooms are the star of the show here.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes to soak mushrooms, plus 30 minutes cooking time



  • 1 pound chicken livers (450 g)
  • 3 ounces dried mushrooms (85 g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided (30 g)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (15 ml)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (30 ml)
  • Optional: ½ cup crème fraiche


Soak mushrooms in room temp water for 20 to 30 minutes to soften the mushrooms. Drain in a colander, reserving the soaking liquid in a large bowl.

Run clean water over the mushrooms to remove any lingering grit that might be clinging. Squeeze the mushrooms lightly to remove as much water as possible, then roughly chop. Set aside.

Trim (kitchen shears work well) the chicken livers, discarding any veins or stringy bits, then cut livers into 1-inch/25 mm pieces.

Season livers with salt and pepper (about ¼ tsp of each).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat.

Cook the livers, turning them until browned on both sides but still slightly pink on inside, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove from pan.


Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze, using a spatula to loosen any bits of liver. Add the last tablespoon of butter to the pan. After it melts, add shallot and mushrooms. Generously season the mushrooms with salt and pepper as they cook.

After cooking the mushrooms for a few minutes, add ½ cup of the mushroom soaking liquid to the pan. Scoop the liquid from the top of the bowl, as any dirt from the mushrooms will have settled on the bottom of the bowl.

Cook the mushrooms a few minutes more; if they still seem too chewy, add another ½ cup of the mushroom soaking liquid and cook a few more minutes.

Add the chicken livers back to the pan, toss with the mushrooms to reheat.

Add the parsley and thyme before serving.

If you like, garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche.


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10 thoughts on “Chicken Livers with Mushrooms and Herbs”

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  1. Liver, mushrooms and herbs–so beautifully simple and wonderfully healing! Love recipes like this one, and always happy to have an alternative to my usual standby of just throwing liver in the bone broth (particularly during summer months, when my slow cooker is seeing way less action).

  2. Is there any reason not to use fresh mushrooms? I got a beautiful variety box at the farmer’s market this morning. Would the recipe be any different with fresh mushrooms?

    1. I can’t think of any reason you couldn’t use fresh mushrooms instead of the dried ones – they might be more watery because they’re fresh, but that’s about all I can think of, so you might have to adjust the liquid ratio. Maybe the dried ones have more of an intense flavor?

      I would think Portabellas would be good in this recipe, but since I’m trying to figure out ways to get more liver into my diet, I’m going to go with the recipe as written (using dried mushrooms), and then also try it with fresh ones and see if there’s a noticeable difference.

      Either way, this sounds like a wonderful idea – wish I had thought of it—thanks, guys!

  3. Thanks, I was looking for a liver pate recipe..will make it today!

  4. Even better… add a splash or two of dry sherry towards the end: My favorite way of cooking all types of livers, always cooked rather rare too.

  5. I used to get dried shrooms from the Asian store, but then heard of some type of toxins in these. Something about the way they are grown. Can’t recall exactly what. Any decent source of dried shrooms that’s not ridiculously expensive?

  6. Chicken livers are actually comfort food for me – when I was a kid we had them regularly. Mom coated them in flour and fried them up in vegetable oil. Now that I am avoiding grains, I might try coating them in coconut flour and frying them in uncured bacon grease.

  7. I have a hubby that would love this! Me, I’ll try as I have livers in the freezer from the local amish market!! Thanks!

  8. The thyme makes this recipe taste like deep forest in spring. So comforting! I think this is going to replace my usual boring old liver and onions!