Honey-glazed walnuts in a conserve of wine and figs add a sweet and savory flavor to chicken livers served on baguette toasts.
1 cup California walnut pieces
1⁄4 cup honey
3 tbsp. olive oil
1⁄4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1⁄3 cup vin de noix
1⁄2 cup dried figs, finely diced
1⁄2 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 tsp. walnut oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 chicken livers
24 slices baguette-style bread, toasted
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh sage leaves, for garnish
- Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast 15 min. at 275°F. Drizzle with honey, toss to coat, and continue toasting, stirring occasionally, until nuts are glazed, about 20 min. Remove and cool. Chop roughly and set aside.
- To make walnut conserve, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 5 min. Add vin de noix and boil 2 min., until reduced by about half. Stir in figs and vinegar and cook 5 min. more. Stir in walnut oil and reserved walnuts. Set aside to cool. If necessary, adjust sweetness with additional honey. Makes about 1 cup conserve.
- Heat butter with remaining olive oil in large skillet over moderate heat. When hot but not smoking, add chicken livers (cook in batches, if necessary, so pan isn’t crowded). Season with salt and pepper and sear on all sides until browned. Remove from pan and let rest 5 min. Slice each liver in half horizontally, keeping halves intact.
- Place a liver half, cut side up, on a crouton. Place a heaping teaspoon of conserve on each liver and garnish with a sage leaf.