Thanksgiving, Part III “Later, Liver!” and Cranberry Sauce

This year, I was excited to find a way to prepare the turkey liver in such a way that I could at least tolerate eating it. I strongly dislike wasting anything, and since the liver came with the turkey, I wanted to find a way to use it up! During my childhood in Colombia, I remember my mom would fry up chicken livers for us the day that we would butcher chickens. I remember her highly dramatic response to the snapping and splattering of the giblets in the frying pan. For fun, she often would overreact to the splattering grease with a loud, “Deliver me from livers!” I really enjoyed eating those livers, and was surprised to hear that other people didn’t enjoy the dish. My dad said the difference was due to the freshness of the giblet – other people weren’t eating it as fresh as we were. I wish I knew what my mom used to make them taste so good, but I suspect the only ingredients were salt and butter.

Anyway, I wanted to see if I could find a way to use ALL the giblets from our turkey this year and not be wasteful. A couple of years ago, I tried making a stuffing for the turkey using all the giblets, and unfortunately, the flavors clashed with one another, and I think the liver flavor was the worst culprit. So, this year, I looked for recipes for the liver by itself.

 I found a recipe for liver at http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pan-Fried-Turkey-Livers-with-Bacon-and-Onions and made the changes needed to make the recipe Brody-safe. 🙂 The result was very tasty, but I had some trouble tolerating the texture of the liver. Since I have heard that liver has such good nutrients for us, (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/816/2) I wanted to find a way to get the liver down. Brody tolerated a bite or two but was not as enthusiastic as I was for making sure the liver didn’t go to waste. So, that meant more for me! I admit that eating this did take some getting used to, but with our Crackers (page 111 from A Recipe for Survival and also a Sample Recipe on this site), I was able to eat all the liver and almost enjoy it. Considering its cholesterol values and that I still had to make an effort to eat it, I am not adding Turkey Liver to my weekly shopping list! But at least now, I have a way to use the one liver that comes with my turkey at this time of year.

 Here is the result of my tweaking the recipe found at www.saveur.com:

 I couldn’t think of the word “to endure” in English as quickly as the Spanish word came to my mind, so I’m using the Spanish word for “to endure” or “aguantar” to name this dish since I made this recipe in order to endure the taste and texture of the liver and not see it go to waste.

 Aguantar Turkey Livers

 1 turkey liver

1-2 Tbsp butter

1 garlic clove

salt, black pepper to taste

paprika (a few sprinkles)

tapioca flour (roughly ¼ cup)

1. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Heat the garlic in the butter while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

 2. Rinse off the liver and then slice it thinly.

 3. In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika and tapioca flour.

 4. Coat the liver slices in the flour and spice mixture and fry them in the butter and garlic.

 5. Crackers really help me eat this dish and make the liver disappear! “Later, Liver!”

 I am sorry I didn’t take a picture of the liver experiment! That was the day that I was stumbling about with a headache and not thinking clearly.

 Here is the cranberry sauce recipe… I started with the recipe on the package of cranberries. These were the Fresh 1 Brand, available at my local Sprouts Farmers’ Market.

 Slightly Sweet Cranberry Sauce

 ¼ cup raw cane sugar or choose how much you’d like of your favorite substitute for sweetening

1 cup water

1 package (12 oz) cranberries (or 3 ½ cups whole cranberries)

 1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Wash and rinse the cranberries.

3. Add the cranberries to the water and sugar and boil until the berries’ skins split.

4. Remove from the stove. Store in the refrigerator – the taste improves in 24 hours!

The next time I make this, I may try honey instead of the raw cane sugar. One benefit from using the honey is that the sauce will be thicker after chilling it since the honey thickens up when it’s cold. I’ve also heard that it’s slightly better for our health to use honey instead of  raw cane sugar… but then I’ve also heard that honey is just as bad for us!  I don’t think I’ll be able to talk Brody into never ever having dessert or anything with sugar or honey, so I’ll be happy for the compromise of limiting our intake of sugar by reducing the amount I use in each dish and making sweet dishes less often. I’ll post more about our Thanksgiving dishes in the coming days. If you are looking for ideas for your Christmas meal, you can start experimenting with these recipes now!

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