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Chicken-Fried Chicken Livers

James Holmes, the chef at Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin, soaks livers in buttermilk, hot sauce and soy sauce to temper the gaminess and make them extra-delicious.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 3 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 1/3 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 small chipotle in adobo, seeded and minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • Kosher salt


  1. In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups of the buttermilk with the hot sauce and soy sauce. Add the chicken livers and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, chipotle and adobo sauce; refrigerate.
  3. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. In a third shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, the cayenne, black pepper, cumin and garlic salt.
  4. Remove the livers from the buttermilk, then dredge them in the plain flour. Dip the livers in the egg mixture, then dredge in the seasoned flour. Transfer to the rack.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Set another rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Add half of the livers to the hot oil and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until barely pink inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the clean rack and season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining livers. Serve hot, with the chipotle mayonnaise.

Suggested Pairing

Earthy chicken livers are superb with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published September 2013

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