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Iron-Rich Recipe For Women: Tomato Chicken Livers With Healthy Garlic Bread

Updated on July 25, 2012
Tomato and Garlic Chicken Livers with Red Peppers on Healthy Garlic Bread. Photo © Redberry Sky
Tomato and Garlic Chicken Livers with Red Peppers on Healthy Garlic Bread. Photo © Redberry Sky

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Women, much more so than men, are prone to iron deficiency. When I was a student (which is not so long ago!), I shared an apartment in my second year with four other girls. Every one of us came from a different country – the USA, Canada, South Africa, Morocco, and I represented the UK.

We had nothing in common, except maybe that we all rooted for Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final, but by the end of that year, there was one thing that we all shared: an iron deficiency.

For obvious reasons, girls are more prone to anaemia than boys, and for financial reasons, my flatmates and I just couldn’t afford to buy luxurious amounts of food. For reasons of frantic studying, we also didn’t have time to spend on preparing extravagant meals.

Which is why I'm making a series of Hubs with the recipes I used, after my doctor told me I had low Iron levels, to bring my iron levels back to what they should be. My first recipe Hub using inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients that are high in nutrition like iron and vitamin C was Healthy Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs with Pesto and Summer Vegetables. And if you like my Chicken Livers recipe, then you might also love a recipe from my HubPages friend from Spain, whose Arroz Al Horno recipe includes Morcillo Sausage - Spanish Blood Sausage - which will also be high in iron.

Pan-fry the chicken livers with the peppers for about 5 minutes, until the livers have 'sealed' - that is they have cooked to a light brown all over. Photo © Redberry Sky
Pan-fry the chicken livers with the peppers for about 5 minutes, until the livers have 'sealed' - that is they have cooked to a light brown all over. Photo © Redberry Sky
After adding the can of chopped tomatoes, simmer on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes. Photo © Redberry Sky.
After adding the can of chopped tomatoes, simmer on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes. Photo © Redberry Sky.
Slice a French stick loaf (baguette) into 1-inch slices. Photo © Redberry Sky
Slice a French stick loaf (baguette) into 1-inch slices. Photo © Redberry Sky
Spoon a little olive oil and minced garlic mixture on top of each slice of baguete. Photo © Redberry Sky.
Spoon a little olive oil and minced garlic mixture on top of each slice of baguete. Photo © Redberry Sky.
Lovely crispy-on-the-edges, soft-in-the-middle garlic bread that's healthy too - made with olive oil instead of butter. Photo © Redberry Sky
Lovely crispy-on-the-edges, soft-in-the-middle garlic bread that's healthy too - made with olive oil instead of butter. Photo © Redberry Sky

Pan-Fried Chicken Livers with Tomatoes on Garlic Bread

Chicken livers are cheap, cheerful and tasty, and since they don’t become hard and tough when cooked, as other livers easily can, they can be quite luxurious. I first tried chicken livers in a wonderful Italian bistro, and was delighted with the sumptuousness of the rich sauce - I was even more surprised to find that I could reproduce this sauce simply by lightly frying chicken livers with a can of chopped tomatoes and some garlic at home: the meat juices mingle with the tangy tomatoes to give a rich and mellow flavour to the dish.

For a healthier garlic bread, I've given instructions on how to make your own using a stick of French bread, and substituting olive oil in place of butter. It still tastes divine, but doesn't have all the bad saturated fats that come with solid spreads.

Serving size is based on 3 people sharing this recipe, with 3 slices for each person of the healthy garlic bread included in the recipe. One serving of this dish provides around 75% of the recommended daily iron intake for an average person, and well over twice the absolute daily minimum vitamin C. It also contains vitamins B-6 and B-12 in generous amounts, and lots of of other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, magnesium, manganese, niacin, selenium, thiamin and zinc. And all this but less than a quarter of the recommended daily saturated fat intake!

Just to give a quick warning - whilst liver is a safe and healthy meal option for most people, liver contains a lot of vitamin A in a form that can be toxic if ingested in large amounts, and it is not recommended that people eat liver more than once or twice a week at the very most. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before eating liver, as large amounts of vitamin A can interfere with the development of your baby.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves 2-3 People

Ingredients

  • 400g Raw chicken livers
  • 1 can (400g) Chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 stick French loaf (baguette)
  1. For the chicken livers in a tomato and garlic sauce: Heat a very small amount of olive oil gently in a wok or frying pan (just a teaspoon or two to stop the livers sticking), add the chicken livers and chopped red peppers, and then cook on a low-medium heat for 5 minutes until the livers are 'sealed' - that is they are browned evenly. Then add the tin of chopped tomatoes and half of the minced garlic. ***At this point, the garlic bread needs to go into the oven (see instruction (2) below)***. Continue to simmer the livers and tomatoes for 10 minutes while the garlic bread is in the oven.
  2. For the garlic bread: Slice the baguette so that you have about 9 or 10 slices about an inch and a half thick. Mince the other half of the garlic and mix it with the olive oil, then spoon a little of this garlic-oil mixture onto one side of each of your baguette slices, spreading it evenly. Put the slices (garlic face up) onto a baking tray, and place in a pre-heated oven on gas mark 5 (180C or 350F). They will be ready in about 8-10 minutes depending on how 'toasted' you like your garlic bread.
  3. The garlic bread and chicken livers should both be ready at the same time. Lay out three slices of garlic bread on each plate and spoon out the chicken livers and sauce on top of the bread.
Nutrition Facts
Calories 457
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 8 g
Carbohydrates 54 g18%
Sugar 2 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 30 g60%
Cholesterol 457 mg152%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 4 years ago

      I should try this, but I'm chicken about chicken liver. The irony. But I'm low in iron. Double irony. I should just go to bed. Anyway, nice recipe. I'm going to save it and try it out next time I get a whole chicken with giblets. Up and shared. Sorry about the bad puns:)

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Red. This was one of my late husbands favorites, he loved chicken livers. I eat them these days when my Spanish friends make a paella. Have you tried adding herbs to the livers and the garlic bread-Red? Any mixed herbs will do, but if you can get medditeranean or provincal , all the better. Great idea to aim the hub at woman..as you say , obvious reasons. That´s why I was so surprised that woman in their 50´s can suffer from low iron levels. I´m really pleased you told me that on the last delicious recipe. I´m going to try to link your recipes to some of my hubs.

    • Redberry Sky profile image
      Author

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      Adding herbs is a fantastic idea, bac2basics - I'll go for a scout around my herb rack and pick a couple out the next time I make this. I *think* (though it's only a personal guess) that when women and men in their 50s and older get iron and other deficiencies it might be because as the kids fly the nest, maybe there isn't the same motivation to make sure every meal is balanced and healthy - both teenage and mid-life years are when we're free to socialise and be adventurous, whereas 'family time' in our 20's to 40's is when a lot of people are 'being sensible'. I like your recipes too - I think we have similar tastes - I'll do the same and put links to your fabulous recipes in my recipe Hubs :)

    • Redberry Sky profile image
      Author

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      All puns are welcome here, Chris, as long as they are greater than 40% proof and mixed with lemonade and perhaps an olive. Possibly a little paper umbrella. Or am I thinking of Martinis again?

    • plussizepixie profile image

      plussizepixie 4 years ago

      I am regularly anaemic so will be following your iron rich recipes eagerly.

    • Ann M Reid profile image

      Ann M Reid 4 years ago from Lancaster County, PA

      I began frequenting a New York Style Jewish Deli near where I used to live in suburban Philadelphia to get my chopped chicken liver / salad platter to boost my poor, iron-defiencient bod! I learned to love Madray's chopped chicken liver spread on pita crisps with chopped red onion and I still miss it after many years. We're now living in Amish country where Jewish Delis are very few and very, very far between. This recipe sounds great and I am going to try it with the beautiful, big chicken livers I got from Benuel, the Amish chicken farmer up the road from us. It sounds yummy!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Voted up, useful and shared!

      Oh yes! I love chicken livers. I usually add them with stir-fried veggies and some oyster sauce. Simple and delicious dish. Hmm.. I haven't tried garlic bread on my chicken livers, though. Will give it a try.

    • Redberry Sky profile image
      Author

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      That sounds delicious, beingwell, I love Chinese food, and I've never tried putting those kinds of sauces with this. I must try combining them, it sounds very appealing.

    • Redberry Sky profile image
      Author

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      Hi Ann, oh, that Jewish Deli sounds wonderful! I am going to HAVE to try that out,though I bet my efforts are nowhere near as good Madray's :)

    • ashleybunn profile image

      ashleybunn 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Interesting! Just the thought of chicken livers usually makes me feel ill, but your recipe makes them look & sound pretty tasty. I may just have to buck up and give it a try!

    • Redberry Sky profile image
      Author

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      You aren't alone Ashley, the thought of livers puts a lot of people off, but if they're cooked the right way, they really are more luxurious than you think they'll be :)

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