Fried Chicken Liver Salad with Bacon and Ranch Dressing



This carnivore’s salad is filled with bold ingredients like bacon, dandelion greens, celery leaves and pickled onion, but the star ingredient are the chicken livers.

Serves 6

For the Pickled Red Onion:
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar

For the Ranch Dressing:

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Salad:
6 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
3 cups self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Vegetable oil, for frying
3/4 pound heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 tender celery ribs, thinly sliced on the bias, leaves reserved
1 small bunch dandelions greens

Put the sliced red onion in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the red wine vinegar with the sugar over moderately high heat until just beginning to simmer and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar over the sliced red onion and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons of the onion pickling liquid.

In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. Cut each piece of bacon in half.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

In a medium bowl, soak the chicken livers in 1 cup of the buttermilk for 10 minutes, then drain. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk to the bowl. Dredge the chicken livers in the seasoned flour until coated, then re-dip the chicken livers in the buttermilk and dredge again in the flour to double-coat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 325°F.  Fry the livers until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the chicken livers on paper towels and immediately season with salt.

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, parsley and celery ribs and leaves. Add the pickled onion and the reserved 1 1/2 teaspoons of pickling liquid. Place the greens on a serving plate. Spoon the ranch dressing onto of the greens. Top with the tomato salad, chicken livers and bacon and serve at once.