Parmesan-Polenta-Coated Chicken Livers with Lentil Salad

Lovers of chicken livers will find this dish a treat, and we think even those who are skeptical will fall for these morsels with their crisp coating and subtle cheese flavor.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten to mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • 2 quarts mixed salad greens (about 6 ounces)

Preparation

  1. 1. In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, water, onion, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are just tender but not falling apart, about 35 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. 2. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the 1/2 cup oil slowly, whisking. Add 1/2 cup of this vinaigrette to the lentil salad along with the tomatoes and parsley.
  3. 3. In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, Parmesan, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put the eggs in another shallow dish. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Dip half the livers in the egg and then into the cornmeal mixture; fry for 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned but still pink inside, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining livers and the remaining 1 tablespoon each oil and butter.
  4. 4. To serve, toss the greens in the remaining vinaigrette and put on plates. Top with the lentils and livers.
  5. Wine Recommendation: The creamy rich livers and the crunchy dressed salad both call for a tart, fruity red wine. A Beaujolais will be an ideal accompaniment.
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