Part 1: Fresh and Frozen
My chicken liver adventure is not turning out the way I imagined. I’ve been writing a chicken livers post in my mind for a few weeks now, ever since I cooked a batch of them and realized that not too many people eat them anymore outside of pate, which is a shame. And it would be nice to write about how I prepare them, because I think it rocks. I’ve tasted plenty of preparations that make me understand why a lot of people really hate chicken livers.
I have been to Guido's since I started wanting to write the post, but they had no fresh chicken livers. I went to Honest Weight, but they apparently sell them out within the day they get them.
Tonight was going to be the night. I went to The Meat House in Stuyvesant Plaza a couple evenings ago, thinking they’d probably be able to scare up some fresh ones for me. I spoke with two of the staff members, emphasizing several times that they must be fresh - I wanted fresh chicken livers. They have painted their window in two-foot high letters: Our meat is always fresh, never frozen. I figured we were on the same page. I ordered two pounds. I said they need to be fresh a couple more times while they wrote up the order, explaining that they are easy to mess up - one of the elementary ways to mess them up is to freeze them. I explained that when they are frozen they end up mealy and grainy and absolutely the wrong texture. Most of the unusual nature of liver, which makes it a different kind of experience, is the texture.
They appeared to be listening.
So today when I went to pick them up and the staff member who had stood there and nodded and said ok several times a couple days ago while I explained that they have to be fresh said, “they popped them in the freezer”... I couldn’t believe it. It was like one of those moments where they sound track does the record scratch sound. Time stopped for a moment. Whuuuuuuut?
I tried to be nice. I suppressed the Hulk transformation. They had just proved themselves to be completely untrustworthy. I stifled when the staff member said, “yeah, they only last a couple days.” As if I didn’t know anything about them - the person who had just bent their ears about cooking livers for about 15 minutes two days before. Although I would never do such a thing the words “pimp slap” came to mind because I read them on facebook just this morning. All of my explaining about fresh had only been so much high-pitched noise.
So I simply said I’d think about what I want to do. They assured me that they could have more by Monday. The only thing I can imagine is that I would order them today and some staff member or another would think: "why should we get fresh ones when we can use these?" and they would take the chicken livers out of the freezer, thaw them, and sell them to me Monday. Their credibility is utterly demolished. I’ll never be able to ask them for fresh chicken livers again.
So this is the post I have to write today. I’ll wait until I can get fresh livers either at Honest Weight or at Guidos again and then I can write about how I cook them to make them delicioso.