Crostini di Fegatini di Pollo e Sapa
This classic preparation of chicken livers is found all over Italy, but especially in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and Umbria.
- 1 pound organic chicken livers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed
- 3 anchovy fillets (or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste)
- 1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
- 4–6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced (about 1½ teaspoons)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed (about 1 teaspoon)
- ¼ cup cognac
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Crostini (for serving)
- Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Shallots, shaved (for garnish)
- Sapa (see recipe)
Trim any sinews from the livers and dry well with paper towels.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots, garlic, anchovy, capers, sage, rosemary, and thyme until shallots are lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook over high heat until browned, then add cognac. Then add half of the broth and keep stirring with a wooden spoon, breaking up the livers as they start to cook through. When the broth is absorbed, add the second 1/3 cup of broth and repeat.
Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth, then add lemon juice and additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature with grilled crostini. Garnish with parsley, shaved shallots, and sapa.
Sapa (Concentrated Grape Must)
Sapa is a fermented grape must used to finish many Italian dishes. It lends a tart grape flavor, and the acid helps balance out the fat in a dish. For this recipe, source the best grapes—traditionally Malbecs, but any high-quality grape will do—instead of table grapes. You can often purchase grapes from Whole Foods online.
- 5½ pounds perfectly ripe grapes (ideally still in the bunch)
Crush grapes with a spoon or in a mortar and pestle. Place the fruit and the juice in a bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature to ferment for about 24 hours. Once fermented (look for tiny bubbles on the surface), press and filter the must through a fine muslin bag or cheesecloth into a pot. Set the must over medium heat and boil 2 to 3 hours, until it has reached the consistency of syrup. Cool and store in a sterile bottle. Sapa will keep for several months in the refrigerator.