Sauteed Chicken Livers With Shallot Gravy

Southern Kitchen
Smokejacks Chicken Livers

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 clove garlic, sliced

5 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced


3 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 quart chicken stock

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound chicken livers

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup diced country ham

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley


Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add the garlic and cook on low 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook on medium, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the shallots are caramelized to a golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and then add the bay leaf, thyme and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by more than half, about 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.

Transfer to a blender and puree, and then push the sauce through a sieve or strainer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You should have about 2 cups of sauce, about the thickness of a light gravy.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken livers. Place the flour in a plastic bag and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the livers, close the bag and shake to coat the livers in the seasoned flour.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet until very hot. Shake off the excess flour from the livers and put them in the pan in one layer. Sear for about 3 minutes, then turn the livers and sear the other side for about 3 minutes. Add the ham and shallot sauce and cook until the sauce is reduced to a thick gravy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the parsley. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. 


Per serving: 396 calories (percent of calories from fat, 57), 23 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 24 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 488 milligrams cholesterol, 2,527 milligrams sodium.

About the recipe

Smokejack delivers this Southern gem - Sauteed chicken livers with shallot gravy. This recipe is Southern cuisine at its finest. 

Not a fan of chicken livers? Well, that just leaves more of this delicious preparation for the rest of us. Executive chef John Umberger quickly sears the livers and then adds country ham and a rich shallot gravy to soak up all the pan flavors. “The sweetness of the shallots and the saltiness of the country ham are kind of natural partners for the chicken livers, ” said Umberger, who features the dish occasionally as a special appetizer.

If you don’t have any country ham on hand, you can use ham, prosciutto or thick-cut bacon (add it to the pan with the chicken livers after the first 3 minutes).

Make the shallot gravy in advance --- you’ll love it on mashed potatoes, too --- and then prepare the rest of the dish just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Smokejack Blues & Barbecue in Alpharetta, Ga.