I know that everyone does not love chicken livers like Mike and I do but remember they are high in iron, low in fat and very inexpensive-besides delicious. As far as substitutions, if you are like my mom use calves liver instead. I'm not sure what else you could substitute possibly sausage. But if you're open to new things please give it a try. I made a chicken dish on Monday from Food and Wine by Grace Parisi and guess what? This is one of hers too. It is from the December 2010 Food and Wine issue. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-fettuccine-with-chicken-liver-sauce
I bought fresh pasta from Marin Pasta Works here in San Rafael. The shape I bought, tripoline, was a wide-ish noddle with 1 ruffly edge. You could use fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle. Here's their link: http://www.marinpastaworks.com/
The recipe called for shallot but I missed that somehow and didn't have any on hand so I used onion.
~1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon extra olive oil
1/2 large red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, halved, remove core and pressed
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
10 ounces fresh tripoline
2 cups quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
In a medium bowl, cover the chicken livers with the milk and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and pat completely dry.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken livers and cook over high heat until lightly browned on the bottoms, about 2 minutes. Turn the livers. Add the onion, garlic and thyme to the skillet and cook until the onion and garlic are fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is evaporated and the livers are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Cut the livers into small bite size pieces. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of generously salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Using tongs add the pasta to the chicken liver pan, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the tomatoes and the reserved pasta cooking water. Bring to a simmer over moderately low heat, tossing until the pasta is coated with the creamy sauce. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.
Mike was saying Wow! 10 minutes after he had finished his meal. We had it with a bottle of Vina Robles Signature 2007 Estate Cuvee, a blend of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. Incredible!