Chicken Liver Puttanesca

Making liver loveable

liver tomato sauce

Chicken Liver Puttanesca with Roasted Courgette

Raw chicken livers… they aren’t exactly screaming eat me are they?

Chicken Liver

Raw Chicken Livers

However… Add a few herbs, a rich Italian tomato sauce and hey presto – a quick to cook delicious liver dish that also incredibly good for you (it doesn’t look too bad either!)

Chicken liver in tomato sauce

Chicken Liver Puttanesca for two

I’m currently aiming to eat liver once a week, and must admit I don’t yet love it, say in comparison to a juicy steak, or a roasted fillet of salmon.  However I don’t always make menu choices according to my favourite foods – I make them for health benefits.

So – how to turn it into food I do love?  Since I do love a good rich tomato Italian sauce I wondered if it would make a good accompaniment to my pan fried liver.  I settled on Puttanseca which contains anchovies, capers and olives in a tomato base.  It is usually served stirred through pasta.  Unsurprisingly liver completely kicks pasta to the kerb when comparing nutrient profiles.  Liver is often (and rightly so) described as a superfood. 

The end result was thankfully really tasty.  You could still of course taste the liver, but the thick sauce did a great job at making the dish taste more interesting.  Cooking foods you don’t love in a sauce that you do, is definitely a way to make any dish rise up the taste barometer.

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • Olive Oil 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 8 anchovies
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • Tablespoon tomato puree
  • 390g carton of chopped tomatoes
  • Tablespoon of capers
  • handful of black or green olives (around 15), sliced
  • c. 350g of organic chicken livers
  • Handful fresh oregano, finely chopped


  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized saucepan, and add the whole garlic cloves, anchovies a pinch of chilli flakes, and when they are broken up by the heat (approx 5 minutes), add the tomato purée and stir for a minute.  Next add the chopped tomatoes, capers and olives & bring to a boil.  Turn down to a mild simmer for approx 30 minutes.  The sauce should reduce by at least half.  
  • Next warm up a saucepan with a little oil over a medium heat and fry the chicken livers with some seasoning till browned – roughly 3 minutes on each side. 
  • Taste the Puttanesca sauce, add some seasoning, and half of the oregano before pouring over the chicken livers in the frying pan.  Incorporate the ingredients together.  You can now serve up the livers& sauce with side vegetable of choice, stopping to add a the rest of the oregano as garnish and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the finished dish.

6 thoughts on “Chicken Liver Puttanesca

  1. Louise at Cake and Calico

    I have real problems with liver – I was fed it with onions when I was a child and I haven’t been able to countenance it since but the idea of covering it in a tasty ragu is genius. I’ll definitely be taking a second look!

    1. Ceri @CucinaCeri Post author

      I was never fed it as a child – perhaps that’s why I have no problems with it now. However – we all need a bit of Italian sauce in our lives so definitely give it a go! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  2. Rebecca Millar

    Wow, I have just been ‘introduced’ to Paleo and found your blog, so excited to try your recipes, liver is one of my most favorite foods.


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