For this month’s “Family Supper” Monthly Challenge, I decided to make a pizza that I have threatened on more than one occasion to make—a “Chicken Liver” pizza. However, rather than give it that inelegant “swine flu” type of name that has everyone scurrying for the exits, I elected to call it the “Epicurean Pizza”. Once your kids try this “Epicurean Pizza” as a “family supper”, they will be clamoring for more. As soon as you return home from work and open the door to greet your family, they will be yelling “Dad (or Mom), PLEEEZE, PLEEEZE, will you make an Epicurean Pizza for us? We will stop playing video games, tweeting and try to get all A’s if you do!! We’ll even pay for our cell phone bills.”
Believe it or not, I had a very difficult time finding any fresh chicken livers to make this pizza. I saw frozen chicken livers in one supermarket but I could not find any fresh ones after looking for several days at several stores. I finally asked the butcher behind the counter at a local high-end supermarket near me if he had any fresh chicken livers out back that he was ashamed or embarrassed to put out front. He said he didn’t have any but that he would order some for me and they would be in the store after two days. True to his word, he ordered them and, when he saw me approach him on the appointed day, he gave me a big smile and two thumbs up. He exuberantly said that he had ordered several “tubs” and they were almost sold out, and that was at about 10 AM. I think I may have convinced him that there is actually a viable market for fresh chicken livers. If my chicken liver pizza recipe gets out, there may even be a run on the fresh chicken liver market.
In any event, the Epicurean Pizza is more than just chicken livers. The pizza also includes caramelized onions, mushrooms, and garlic. The onions I used were the Texas 1015 onions that are naturally sweet. However, the caramelization (in butter) makes them even sweeter. I used one large onion but, after the pizza was made and tasted, I concluded that two large onions would have been even better. The mushrooms were a mixture of lightly sautéed sliced mushrooms (sautéed in a combination of butter and olive oil) and raw sliced mushrooms. I also added a few tablespoons of Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry to the sautéed mushrooms for additional elegance and flavor.
The chicken livers were prepared by dusting them in a combination of all-purpose flour, salt and freshly ground black pepper and then lightly sautéing them in butter. I tried different size pieces of the chicken livers, from small, medium to large pieces. They all seemed to work. I estimate that I used a total of about 3/4 pound of chicken livers. After I removed the chicken livers from the sauté pan, I added a bit more butter and olive oil and lightly sautéed two diced garlic cloves. The butter/oil and garlic served as the base for the pizza. On that base, I added a small amount of shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese. I then added some of the caramelized onions and some of the sliced mushrooms. This was followed by the rest of the shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining caramelized onions and mushrooms. I did not want to overdo the cheese, so I used about 5.5 ounces total. The lightly sauteed chicken livers went on top. I also added some dried thyme (dried from fresh thyme I had purchased) for added flavor.
I didn’t know what to expect of the Epicurean Pizza as I assembled it to be baked. However, when it was done and I sampled it, I was very pleased. I thought that the pizza was excellent. The pizza I made was 14”. I estimate that the ingredient costs were $6.16. The pizza weighed around 34 ounces, baked. So, unless your kids can’t get enough chicken livers, that is a real bargain for a “family supper”, especially in these difficult economic times. A couple of photos follow.