January 15, 2010

Chicken Liver Grandma Style...

Before reading this, please read the Welcome Note on your left.

I don't know about other languages, but in Arabic, terms of endearment or anger at slights often involve allusions to human organs.

For example in love you'd hear - you are my heart, eyes, will serve you from the inside of my eyes, (meaning deep from my soul), or another one you the pupil of my eye, or men ba'ad kabdee...difficult to translate, kabd means liver, and men ba'ad kabdee means very close to my liver, my most vital organ... liver.

Of course everything has it's opposite and Love's opposite is Hate. I will not go into a philosophical discussion as to how hate comes about, but it is fair to say that hate usually comes from anger at some injustice done...

So terms involving organs and hate are the same - he/she made my heart explode, my gall bladder explode, and also talae'lee aynee, meaning he made my eyes pop out (usually referring to someone who has kept at you relentlessly and not in a nice way either...) and of course the proverbial allusion to liver as in he made my liver explode...

Of course there are other sentences used for the lower parts of the body, which I shall refrain from teaching you tonight, as I make ample use of them on my other blogs....but not quite and not enough...in my opinion.

But rest assured, I do not wish you to explode in any way, maybe just loosen up that belt, button, whatever is around your waist, because the recipe I am about to endear you with is just so yummy...

This is a recipe I watched my grandma (bless her soul) cook. It is easy, healthy and tasty...

You will need the following for two persons. I always make more, because I hate stinginess and avarice. And bear in mind that measurements are not absolutely exact, this is cooking not algebra. OK ?! So when I say roughly, because I do say roughly often, take it to mean more or less...

So more or less :

200-250g of chicken liver
1 medium size onion
1 big glove of garlic
4-5 branches of fresh coriander or cilantro as you call it
1 cube chicken stock
black pepper
mixed spices (also called all spice)
-curry powder (optional)
-cinnamon powder
-cumin or keemun powder
-vegetable oil - I use sunflower.
-tomato paste
-(note I don't use salt in this one because the chicken stock is already salty enough)

Get ready :

-wash chicken liver and strain.
-chop onions finely and crush garlic
-heat about a tablespoon of oil in deep pan or pot
-cook onion until tender THEN add the garlic
- fry for a couple more minutes then add liver
- mix well and make sure to let the liver cook before adding spices - meaning you are not to see any raw red bits at all...if you don't do that, the liver gets soggy...
- once you have made sure that the liver is cooked, add your spices, i.e mixed spices, a bit of black pepper, cinnamon, keemun. You need the liver to smell of spices and become brownish from the mix.
-boil about a cup of water and dissolve your chicken stock cube in it and add some tomato paste, enough to make it into a rich red.
-stir the whole thing and add to your liver
- and finally add your coarsely chopped coriander leaves (leaves not stalks)

Let is boil once then lower temperature to simmer, until the spices, the liver, the broth drink up from one another...and the sauce thickens enough but not too much, you need to keep some sauce in there...

Serve with rice (I will give you the proper way to cook rice, none of this Western bullshit rice cooking) or if you can't wait for my next rice recipe and want to try it out immediately, serve with hot pitta or Arabic bread instead.

Bon appétit and don't forget my welcome note and a prayer for my grandma...