Soak Chicken Livers In Buttermilk To Remove Any Metallic Taste

The taste of chicken livers runs the gamut from rich to dreadful. Some people adore them, others gag at the thought of them. Even those who enjoy eating chicken livers, whether spread on toast or fried, will attest to their metallic taste. But, buttermilk can be used to cure chicken livers and make them taste as good as any meat.

While chicken livers and organ meat can be odd in terms of taste and texture, they are powerhouses of nutrients and highly functional to the body. However, the upside may be the double-edged sword that demerits chicken livers. Their high iron content contributes to the metallic taste you pick up when you eat chicken liver, while its bile-creating properties further make the meat taste bitter.

Buttermilk is an agent that tones down chicken liver's mineral-rich taste. This is because buttermilk (and milk in general) contains calcium. The alkaline calcium interacts with chicken liver and tempers its acidic nature to leave a mild-tasting liver. Milk also helps remove any blood left in the liver, making it taste less metallic.

Liver soaking tips and alternative options

Start by soaking the chicken livers in approximately one cup of buttermilk per one pound of chicken livers, or just enough to cover the livers in a medium-sized bowl. Depending on the size of the livers, leave them to soak for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. This gives the buttermilk ample time to soften their taste and texture. Once you remove the chicken livers from the buttermilk, pat them dry and sear them to make chicken liver mousse, or saute and puree them to make liver pâté.

If you're out of buttermilk, others also swear by the lemon juice or vinegar-soaking methods. In these cases, you would need water and ¼ cup of vinegar or lemon juice to soak approximately ½ pound of chicken livers. The optimal time to soak the livers in these acidic-based agents is between 30 to 90 minutes. Any longer, and you risk cooking the livers for too long before they even hit the pan.