Olly’s Recipe: Arnavut Cigeri (Albanian Styled Liver)

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Arnavut Cigeri translated to Albanian Styled Liver is by far one of the most popular Meze dishes in Turkey. Liver spiced red pepper flakes and ground black pepper, traditionally served with an onion mixture consisting of red onions, chopped parsley and sumac. This I’ve got to say is by far one of my favourites, from being a guy that wasn’t too keen on liver! I may just be able to convert you too. This recipe is a MUST for everyone.

It’s great taste and tenderness begins with the liver itself.  So only young, very fresh calf or lamb liver is used as gives a nice mild flavour and more meaty texture. It’s a popular dish in every Turkish tavern, or  as we call it ‘meyhane’, normally accompanied with Turkish “Rakı”, which is an anise-flavoured liquor mixed with ice and water.

Ingredients:

600g Fresh Lamb Liver
6 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Butter Approx. 50g
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil (Frying)
1 Large Red Onion
1/3 Cup Parsley
1 Tbsp Salt, Pepper & Sumac

Preparation:

Start of by cutting your liver into cubes the size of dices with a sharp knife. Once they are all cubed, place our liver in a wire strainer and rinse under cold water. This washes of any excess blood on the liver.

Make you put set them aside to allow for it to drain for a couple of minutes, then turn the washed liver cubes out on paper towels to remove any extra moisture. In a clean plastic bag, shake together the flour, salt and pepper. Then add the liver and shake them inside the bag until all are lightly covered with the flour mixture.

Add oil into a large skillet. Once its hot enough for frying add the lightly floured liver cubes all in one go. Be careful not to burn yourself. When you have add them, gently arrange them with a wooden spoon so all cubes can cook evenly as each other. When one side is browned, gently turn spoonfuls of cubes and make sure you brown the other side.

Once the liver is cooked, take them out and place them into a empty box. Add butter and 2 pinches of red chilli flakes, close the lid of the box and shake for a good 10-20 seconds. This gives the liver a nice creamy texture with a nice spicy kick. Finally, peel and cut your red onion in half and thinly slice it. Separate the slices and mix it together with parsley and sumac.

To serve, lay your onion mixture onto the plate and then bed the cooked liver cubes on top of it. Or you could have the onion mixture in a separate bowl.

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The Author

A food business focusing on traditional Turkish food based in South East London. Running local pop-ups and events - Chef @Meze_Mangal @Grub_Club

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