One night I found myself with a bottle of excellent red wine that had a bright cherry note, and I created this dish to complement the wine. When I'm home alone I try to overcome the temptation to just have a peanut butter sandwich by making something really nice for myself. This dish has become one of my favorites, a nourishing and elegant use of one of the simplest and least expensive of ingredients. Use a good wine in the dish, and pour yourself a glass to have with it. Get the best chicken livers you can find, and if you haven't yet discovered a way to embrace chicken livers, this might just be it. And remember, when you eat alone you're always in good company, and everyone at the table likes the same things you do, so do yourself proud! —Abra Bennett
depends on how hungry you are
fruity dry red wine
onion, finely minced
clove garlic, finely minced
walnut halves, toasted
fresh mint, in chiffonade or chopped
Warm the wine slightly in a small saucepan, remove from heat, and place the cherries in it to soften. Let soak for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the walnut halves at 350° for 8-10 minutes, until very golden and fragrant. When cool, break up the halves a little bit, leaving the nuts in large chunks.
Rinse the chicken livers and blot them dry with paper towels. Trim away any bits of fat and membrane. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss it with the cleaned and dried chicken livers.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken livers, placing them so they are in a single layer in the pan. Turn the livers gently to saute each side, until they are very browned and crusty on the outside but still slightly pink inside.
Pour in the cherries and wine, and stir vigorously to deglaze the pan of browned bits. Add the toasted walnuts and mint, stirring briefly to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with crusty bread or polenta.