Pan-fried gnocchi with spicy chicken livers

This is one of my most recent entries into Freshly Blogged. Wonderful, as I’d be craving chicken livers for the past week at least – their rich meatiness and taste of iron on your tongue.

It made me think why we don’t eat them more often – thankfully, after this dish, we will be. In a sweet-and-spicy tomato sauce, finished with a drizzle of cream, it’s the perfect good-for-you comfort food. As the sauce is the highlight, you need something to mop it up with: enter soft, yielding gnocchi fried till crisp on the outside. Add a bed of rocket for freshness, and it’s a deliciously inexpensive meal – one we will be having often.

The gnocchi isn’t as labour intensive as I’d imagined – soft pillows of potato make for the perfect accompaniment to the rich livers. I fried them for a little bit of contrast, but you can also simmer them if you prefer.

Ingredients:

For the gnocchi:
3 large potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cake flour (plus extra for kneading)
Generous pinch of salt
Vegetable oil for frying

For the chicken livers:
1 Tbsp butter
250g chicken livers, rinsed
1 can (410g) tomatoes
1 tsp Robertsons cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Robertsons ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar
125ml cream
Fresh rocket, to serve
Salt to taste

Method:

For the gnocchi:
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a pot of water and bring to the boil on a high heat. Allow to boil until potatoes are tender and fall apart easily when pierced. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, mash and mix in beaten egg. Add flour and salt. Stir until a dough forms. Sprinkle a countertop with flour and knead for 2 minutes.

Break the dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, form into sausages about 2cm thick. Cut into pieces 3cm long, and press down on each with the tines of a fork (if desired). Continue until all gnocchi dough is used.

Heat 2cm oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Fry gnocchi in batches, flipping them until golden on all sides – about 1 minute on each side.

For the chicken livers:
Heat a deep frying pan to a medium-high heat. Add butter to melt. Add chicken livers and fry until starting to caramelise and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan.

Add tomatoes, spices and sugar. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until reduced and thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken livers and cream. Allow to simmer very gently for 10 minutes.

To serve, lay a bed of fresh rocket on each plate. Top with the chicken livers and sauce, before sprinkling over the fried gnocchi.

The heat of the sauce will cause the rocket to wilt slightly – this is intentional.

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