Why should you eat chicken liver? Our bodies need protein. Protein supports the collagen that holds bones and muscles together, builds muscle tissue, and helps heal wounds. While there is a variety of proteins available to us, they will not have all the benefits of chicken liver nutrition. Chicken livers are especially good for you if they are home raised or organic.
Facts About Chicken Liver Nutrition
Chicken livers can be a great source of healthy proteins as long as you don’t cook them with too much fat and salt. liver is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat because it contains protein, vitamins, and minerals.
While chicken livers do have a high cholesterol content, when eaten in proportional measures, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Some of the health benefits include:
- Excellent source of protein
- Substantial portions of selenium which is an antioxidant
- Contain zinc which is important to the immune system
- Contains Zinc to boost the immune system
- High in B vitamins
- Top source of vitamin A
- Contains folate which prevents birth defects
What Can Eating Chicken Livers Do for You?
While we know that chicken livers are good for you, what health benefits can you gain from eating them? Here are the top 5 health benefits The-Benefits lists outline chicken liver nutrition benefits.
- Chicken liver nutrition can help protect you from anemia. Anemia is caused when you are deficient in red blood cells. Since it is high in Vitamin A and iron, it improves your cell function and prevents anemia. It also supplies your body with B12. This B vitamin supports and balances the production of red blood cells. The iron, folate and vitamin combination help keep your body producing healthy red blood cells.
- With such a high content of Vitamin A, 288% of the daily recommended dose, chicken liver nutrition is great support for eyesight. Vitamin A comes in the form of alpha and beta-carotene, retinol, and lycopene, which are all essential for good eyesight.
- Body tissue is a key component of our health. Chicken liver nutrition provides high amounts of riboflavin. Riboflavin helps repair tissues like cracked lips and skin problems due to a lack of riboflavin. Adding chicken livers to your diet can keep your body’s tissues healthy and happy.
- Minimize stress and support fertility by eating chicken livers. They can increase cortisol hormones that help keep your sense of stress in balance and reducing insomnia. The 665 mcg of folate promotes fertility, helps prevent neural tube defects, and ensures proper fetal development.
- In addition to the high iron levels, chicken liver nutrition is also a great source of zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Working together, these minerals boost the immune system. They also help boost energy and help keep you in a good state of mind.
- The high levels of selenium can assist with DNA repair. This may help reduce the risk of cancer and other illnesses related to damage to DNA.
- The enormous amounts of B12, 287% beyond the daily recommended dose, have been linked to several biological processes in the body including the central nervous system. The B12 found in chicken livers can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
Concerns with Eating Chicken Liver
The liver is an organ meat that is packed more densely with vitamins and minerals than any other source of protein. There is a concern that an individual can eat too much of this organ meat. The body will store fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. If they are stored in too high doses, they can accumulate and eventually reach harmful levels.
Vitamin A specifically is stored as a fat-soluble vitamin in the liver. Since it clears from the body very slowly, it can build up to a toxic level if consumed in great amounts over a long period of time.
It has been recommended that pregnant women do not consume chicken liver. It may deliver too much vitamin A to the fetus and potentially harm the baby.
Eating Chicken Liver Safely
How much is too much? You are safe and will reap the benefits of chicken liver nutrition if you stick to eating 150 grams once or twice a week. This will be more than enough to reap the benefits and not be concerned with overloading on fat-soluble vitamins.
Another risk of eating chicken liver purchased from the store may be harmful if it is not fully cooked. Overcooking results in brown, chewy, undesirable meat which gives the taste of the liver a bad reputation. Buying organic or raising your own, you can prepare the liver properly without any danger of contaminants.
How to Prepare Chicken Livers
There are many ways to cook chicken livers that if you are not a fan of liver, you will probably like the taste when properly prepared. Chicken liver has one of the mildest flavors of any organ meat. Great recipes will go a long way in improving the taste.
BBC Food provides tips on preparing chicken liver.
- First, remove any sinew or green pieces on the liver before cooking. Leaving them on will make the liver taste bitter.
- Examine the liver and cut away any gristle or unpleasant looking parts.
Delicious Ways to Cook Chicken Livers
There are hundreds of recipes for cooking chicken livers. You can find them in recipe books, online, or watch YouTube videos on the best recipes for preparing them in a way your family will love. Here are some basic tips for preparation:
- Rinse and season the liver, and simply sauté them in a skillet with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Splash with red wine or lemon juice. Serve them thinly sliced on a bed of mixed greens. Add fruit like diced apples, some diced onion, and little vinaigrette to top it all off.
- After properly cleaning, dip the livers in an egg wash. Roll them in cornmeal or flour and fry them until they reach 170 degrees F. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or gravy.
- Chicken pate is easy to make. Cook the livers in olive oil and add white wine or sherry as they are cooking. Place the cooked livers in a food processor and blend with plain Greek yogurt or cream cheese. Season with salt, garlic, lemon pepper, sage, and thyme. You can fold in walnuts for more flavor. Garnish with chopped rosemary and parsley. Chill until pate is cool. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.
Marinating Chicken Livers
Many people are fans of marinating their meat before cooking. If you love to marinade, there are simple and easy recipes for chicken liver. Here are some easy steps to follow. You will want to prepare the liver for about 12 to 24 hours before cooking. You can do this the previous evening and they will be ready for dinner the next day.
- Put the liver into a zip lock back or container with a lid. Add your favorite marinade ingredients. A great marinade is Greek yogurt, soy sauce, lemon juice, and herbs.
- Mix all the ingredients with the liver and make sure the meat is totally covered. Close up your bag or container and store in the fridge for the next 12 to 24 hours.
- Take livers out of the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature. Preheat your pan with oil, lard, or butter.
- Fry the livers for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use the leftover marinade to cook the liver in or you can use it to make a sauce.
Eating Your Own Chicken Livers
Perhaps you are a practical homesteader or backyard chicken farmer and you are willing to repurpose your poultry after their laying productivity has ended. If you choose to butcher your own chickens, you certainly benefit from chicken liver nutrition.
Knowing how to butcher humanely and properly will take some research. There are videos and websites available to find that information. You can also contact a local farmer who would probably be willing to walk you through the steps. They are actually quite simple.
You also need to know the anatomy of a chicken in order to find the organs you want to eat. The liver, heart, and gizzard are the organs eaten in chickens. A great website for outlining the basics of slaughtering and chicken anatomy is Community Chickens. They have diagrams for outlining where you will find the organs in a chicken.
Even if you have not been a liver fan in the past, you should consider benefitting from chicken liver nutrition. Chicken liver is one of the best sources of protein on the planet. It contains 200% of the daily recommended values of important vitamins as well as vital minerals. Eat them twice a week to improve your health. There are great recipes so even the pickiest can enjoy chicken liver.