Umbrian chicken liver and caper crostini recipe

The medieval hill towns of Umbria are full of small shops selling cured meats, local cheeses, truffle oils, olive oils, and regional, rustic breads… who wouldn’t be inspired to become an amateur chef? We have been cooking up a storm: I recently shared our lentil recipe with you, and now I’d like to share another regional dish that I LOVE, which is also SO simple, and SO cheap: chicken liver crostinis with capers.

Chicken livers have a delicious, rich flavor: in this recipe, they are cut with the tanginess and acidity of the white wine and the capers to make a beautiful, rustic dish that also happens to be incredibly inexpensive (check with your local butcher: chicken livers are typically dirt cheap!)

This recipe is incredibly forgiving. I found several recipes, each of them suggested different herbs, and each said that you can “play” with this dish however you would like. Get creative! 🙂 This is a perfect dish to cook well before your dinner guests arrive, and then quickly assemble. I have a feeling this will be a Jones signature recipe when we get home.


Chicken liver crostini with caper recipe

Makes 6 crostinis

3 fresh chicken livers, chopped finely

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

500 grams prosciutto, finely chopped

2 tablespoons capers

1 sprig rosemary (or a pinch of dried rosemary, or any other herb you’d like!)

¼ cup light white wine (like a Pinot Grigio, Orvieto, Chablis, Frascati, or Grechetto)

1 loaf of rustic, hearty bread

Salt and pepper

  1. Toast  your crostini: cut the bread, drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then bake over a broiler until brown: remove and let them cool.
  2. In a small pot over medium high heat, brown your onions in the olive oil. Make sure they are translucent before moving on to the next step.
  3. Add the prosciutto to the onions and brown.
  4. Add the chicken livers and cook until brown.
  5. Deglaze with the white wine, and then add the capers and rosemary. Slightly reduced the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more white wine if it gets a bit dry.
  6. If you would like a softer texture, add the mixture to a food processor. If not, leave as be. Top the crostinis and serve.

Suggested wine pairings:

You already have your white wine open… serve it with that! I would stay away from a wine like Sauvignon Blanc (way too acidic and overpowering) and I would also stray from sweeter wines like Rieslings (probably not a great match with the capers). But a light Italian white will cut the richness of the dish; or, take the opposite approach and pair “like with like” by serving a rich French or California Chardonnay… just make sure it’s not too oaky, as that sweetness that oak imparts probably wouldn’t pair too well with the dish.

“Sediments” on the dish

Like I said before, this dish is incredibly forgiving: one chef added savory instead of rosemary, another added sage… play with it to get the flavors you prefer. Also, if you want to bypass the wine altogether, several recipes added lemon juice instead: this might be a nice substitute, but since I’m a bit of a wine lover, you won’t see my recipe sans this ingredient. 🙂

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