Persian-style Chicken Hearts and Liver
During my college years in the Philippines, I had two Persian friends who were not only my schoolmates but my neighbors as well. Along with other schoolmates, I would get together with them for an occasional “cookout” at their rented house in my neighborhood. My best memory of these cookouts was when they prepared chicken hearts and liver, Persian-style. While the rest of my schoolmates were playing scrabble in the living room, I was in the kitchen watching my Persian friends prepare and cook the delicious dish.
This recipe is based on my recollection of that cookout day plus a few omissions and additions.
1/2 lb chicken liver, cleaned and cut in half
1/2 lb chicken hearts, cleaned, fat trimmed and cut in half
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 small red chilis, cut in half and seeded
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, sliced crosswise
4 tbsps Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Season chicken livers with salt and pepper to taste. Roll them in bread crumbs and set aside. In a large pan or wok, heat 1 tbsp Olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add chilis. Add green onions and continue cooking for two minutes. Add chicken hearts. Add turmeric, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until hearts are tender, about. 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat 2 tbsps of Olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the breaded chicken livers until they become crispy . Do not overcook! Remove from heat and set aside. In the same frying pan, add 1 tbsp Olive oil. Fry the tomato slices, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Remove from heat. On a serving platter, place 4 fried tomato slices to form a flower shape. Place desired amount of the chicken hearts on top of the tomatoes and desired amount of chicken livers on tio of the hearts. Sprinkle with cilantro and of desired, garnish with sliced green onions.