One of my favorite times of the year is artichoke season. When the purple and green globes start making their appearance in the markets in Rome we eat them almost daily. In salads, pasta, risotti and of course just on their own.
One of my favorite dishes though, is coratella con carciofi. I’ve written about this seasonal dish in the past, which combines not only spring artichokes but also the liver, lungs and heart of spring lamb. This is something I make whenever I can find coratella, which I admit isn’t easy. Not all butchers carry it, and since it’s only available for a few short months a year (when the lambs are young) that makes it even harder. And I imagine if it’s hard for me to find coratella here in Rome, it’s almost impossible where you are.
Which is why, today, I’m sharing my back up version: chicken livers with artichokes.
I love chicken livers but had cut down my consumption of them since I had become suspect of where those livers were coming from. I have long since stopped buying chicken at the supermarket, or from any butcher I don’t know very well. The problem was that my organic source was always limited, and almost never had livers.
All that changed with the opening of the Farmer’s Market here in Rome. Not only does my farmer bring in delicious, home grown, organic chickens, but she also always has packs of chicken livers which, evidently, no one else seems to want. When faced with the choice of buying a pack of chicken parts for 18 Euros or a pack of chicken livers for 4 Euros, I’m going to choose the livers every time. Really, she almost gives them to me for free.
I had the idea of combining them with artichokes last week, since the livers I buy are almost like coratella, since they have the hearts attached as well.
chicken livers and artichokes
Serves 2 to 4
1 pound chicken livers
6 to 8 artichokes
1 medium onion
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Trim the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and sharp tips (see here for how to do this). Slice into half inch wedges.
In a pan large enough to hold everything pour the the olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and let soften for about 10 minutes, being careful not to brown.
Add the artichokes, stir, and add a half cup water. Stir, cooking, until the artichokes start to become tender, about 10 minutes.
In the meantime trim the chicken livers of any extra fat. You may also need to separate them, if there is a membrane connecting the two halves. If the heart is included, trim this of extra fat and cut in half.
Add the liver and heart to the artichokes, and stir. Cook over medium heat until the liver starts to brown. Add a bit more salt, and the white wine.
Cook until done, adjusting for salt and pepper.
Before serving, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and mix.