Chicken Liver Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Almonds

İç pilavı

Made with chicken livers in Istanbul and Izmir and with lambs’ liver in parts of Anatolia, iç pilavi is a delightful aromatic rice dish. It is often eaten on its own with yogurt, although it goes well with a plain kebab or with meat cooked in the kavurma style.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz/225 g chicken livers, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 12 oz/350 g long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons clarified or ordinary butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, quartered lengthways
  • 1 tablespoon currants, soaked in water
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • small bunch of fresh parsley and dill, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pints/900 ml chicken stock or water

To garnish

  • Turkish saffron or chopped fresh parsley

Method

  • Wash the rice and soak if necessary.
  • In a wide saucepan, soften the onion and garlic in the butter. Stir in the nuts and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the currants, allspice and basil and add the chicken livers. Cook until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and toss in the fresh herbs. Remove the mixture from the pan and put aside.
  • Put the drained rice in the pan and toss it for 1-2 minutes in the butter. Pour over the stock, and bring the liquid to the boil for 1-2 minutes. Simmer gently until it has been absorbed. Carefully fold the chicken liver mixture into the rice, then remove the pan from the heat. Cover with a dish-towel, press the lid down tightly on top, and leave to steam for 15-20 minutes.
  • Tip it all on to a serving dish. Fluff up with a fork and sprinkle with the saffron or parsley.
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