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Recipe: Pan fried chicken livers with onion confit and smoked pancetta

Executive chef at Stanley House, Steve Williams, shares his recipe for a delicious starter dish of pan fried chicken livers with onion confit and smoked pancetta.

Makes 2 portions


  • 200g large chicken livers
  • 50g smoked pancetta or smoked bacon
  • 1 ciabatta bread roll – cut in half

For the onion confit

  • 2 onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme

For the sauce vierge

  • 3 plum tomatoes – peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion – finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tblsp lemon juice
  • 1tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tblsp chopped tarragon
  • 1tblsp chopped coriander
  • 1tblsp chopped parsley
  • 25g Lilliput capers
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Carefully trim the livers of all sinew, green areas, and fat trying to leave the liver as whole as possible
  2. Wash carefully and pat dry
  3. Place into a suitable dish and cover with milk. Leave for 24 hours to soak. This helps to remove any bitterness and impurities in the liver
  4. Remove from the milk, pat dry and reserve
  5. Cut the Pancetta into thin strips, just cover with cold water, bring to the boil and refresh. Pat dry and reserve

Method: for the onion confit

  1. To make the confit onion, place all the ingredients into a thick bottomed pan over a low heat with a little olive oil and 50ml water
  2. Cover with a lid and very slowly ‘sweat’ the onions until the water has evaporated and the onions are soft, sweet and caramelised
  3. Season and keep warm

Method: for the sauce vierge

  1. Place the diced onion into a pan with the garlic and a tablespoon of the oil and soften over a low heat
  2. Add the lemon juice and remaining oil and gently warm through
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, season and keep warm

To finish

  1. Add a little oil to a thick bottomed frying pan and when hot carefully add the livers and pancetta
  2. Season well and cook through until just pink turning them over as they cook
  3. Meanwhile, chargrill or toast the ciabatta roll until crisp and place onto a plate
  4. Neatly spoon on the confit onion and arrange the chicken livers over the confit onion
  5. Spoon over the sauce, decorate with herbs and serve immediately
  6. Enjoy!