Monday, 22 April 2013


My younger brother, a very well seasoned eater,  admitted last weekend that he actually doesn't like chicken livers. He confided that he only really tucks in  - as he currently so was doing - because he loves the sauce they come served in.

Ubiquitously, in South Africa, chicken livers are served smothered in a spicy and indeed very tasty peri peri sauce. So his confession was at first surprising ( because i can recount numerous occasions where he volunteers the ordering of livers ) but on contemplation made perfect sense.

If you have any experience dabbling in a bit of organ meat consumption you would know deep, strong and often spicy flavours  (like peri peri ) are used, most likely, to offset the intense and rich qualities of the livers and or kidneys being served. These flavours do combine to make for some seriously good eating and i am probably as guilty of loving the sauce more than i love the livers themselves. But, that admitted, at least i do eat the livers, and not just the sauce, when i order them.

Chicken Livers Prego
This recipe has a trick to it's goodness and unfortunately it's not due to some family household secret i can share with you. No, the secret to making good Livers Prego is getting your hands on a good, ready made Prego Sauce. You could make your own- it is ultimately only just a very garlicky paprika rich sauce, but lets be honest, if there is a good option ready made - it makes more sense to pick that one ! We have a local chippie ( Literally called "Chippies" ) and they have pioneered a prego sauce that has rendered any attempts to make something better completely pointless. Their's is the best. Unfortunately, if you reside any where other than Cape Town - you are going to have to put in some research as to which is the best at your disposal and use that one.

serves 3-4

250g chicken livers
1 onion - peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic - peeled
2 tomatoes - chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup really good Prego Sauce
olive iol
chopped parsley for garnish

fresh rolls for serving

Blend the chopped onion and garlic together to get a smooth paste and set aside. Rinse the chicken livers under cold running water in a colander then pat dry with paper towel. Heat a pan over a high heat adding in a generous knob of butter and splash of olive oil and brown the livers for 2-3 minutes. You want some good colour on them but don't be tempted to cook them for too long - they must still be very pink and underdone. Remove the livers from the pan, return the pan to the heat and add another generous knob of butter and splash of oil. Fry the garlic and onion mix for 8-10 minutes until starting to colour and caramelize. Add in the tomato and paprika and fry for another 2 minutes so the tomato starts to soften. Add in the prego sauce and cook for a minute then add the browned livers back to the pan. Lower the heat slightly and cook the livers for another 2-3 minutes or until the livers are tender and still just lightly pink in the middle. Remove the pan from the heat, season to taste with black pepper and salt if necessary. Scatter with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.