Chicken Liver Tacos With Rhubarb Salsa
This recipe is courtesy of Florence Fabricant, originally published in The New York Times. Photo is by Phil Kline.
"Tart rhubarb meets earthy chicken livers in this unlikely savory pairing. The chicken livers cook quickly, in minutes, in fact. Keep an eye on them to make sure the insides stay pink, then tuck them into warm corn tortillas. Serve with a fresh red like a Lagrein to round out a sophisticated, bold meal you can make on a hot day or a weeknight when you’re looking to impress guests." — Florence Fabricant
- 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1½ cups rhubarb, in ¼-inch dice (about 2 medium stalks)
- ⅓ cup finely minced scallions
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- ½ cup pickled cocktail onions, halved
- 2 tsp honey
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- Chipotle powder or cayenne
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
- 8 soft 7-inch corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
Have a bowl of ice and water ready. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the rhubarb, blanch 20 seconds, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into the ice water. After a minute, drain well and transfer to a medium-size bowl. Fold in the scallions, jalapeño and cocktail onions. Blend the honey into 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and add. Season with about ¼ teaspoon salt and chipotle or cayenne to taste.
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place the cornmeal in a bowl and season with salt and chipotle powder or cayenne. Dredge the livers in the seasoned cornmeal. Add 4 tablespoons oil to a large skillet and sauté the livers on medium heat, turning, until lightly browned but still pink inside, just a minute or two on each side. Remove to a heatproof dish, cover and place in the oven. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden. Add remaining vinegar, stir to deglaze pan and remove from heat.
Wrap the tortillas in a dish towel and place in a steamer over simmering water. Add the cilantro to the salsa. Remove a tortilla from the steamer. Spoon some of the onion in a line down the center. Top with two or three pieces of chicken liver, then about a tablespoon of the salsa. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place on a platter, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve any remaining salsa alongside.