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Parmesan-Polenta-Coated Chicken Livers with Lentil Salad
© David Malosh

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.

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  1. 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
  2. 1 quart water
  3. 1 onion, chopped fine
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  6. 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  9. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  11. 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  12. 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
  13. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  14. 2 eggs, beaten to mix
  15. 2 tablespoons butter
  16. 1 pound chicken livers
  17. 2 quarts mixed salad greens (about 6 ounces)
  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. 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. 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. To serve, toss the greens in the remaining vinaigrette and put on plates. Top with the lentils and livers.

Suggested Pairing

The creamy rich livers and the crunchy dressed salad both call for a tart, fruity red wine. A Beaujolais will be an ideal accompaniment.