I remember the first time I tried this dish. It was also the first time I visited Yalla Yalla in Soho, a restaurant serving Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. It is authentically known as Sawda Djej and is a dish of chicken livers, garlic and pomegranate molasses.
Being a creature of habit, I often revisit restaurants I love time and time again, and I daren’t tell you how many times I have been to Yalla Yalla. I even swung by a few weeks ago to pick up a take away, which subsequently turned into a picnic in the car on a snowy, and slightly dangerous, road trip to Wales. This restaurant is single handedly responsible for igniting my love of Lebanese food. Not to mention my love of chicken liver and pomegranate molasses. No doubt some of you are reading this thinking ‘yep, get the whole pomegranate molasses fetish, as for the chicken liver, not so much you total wierdo’…or something along those lines!
I know, I agree, they are not the prettiest of pictures when raw, and yes, they may feel a little funny. BUT, and this is a very big B. U. T. They are smack you in the face OMFG DEE LICIOUS. Cooked correctly, they melt in your mouth, and the only word I can think to describe the texture is velvet. This combination of chicken liver, garlic and pomegranate molasses is just so good. All sweet and sour, rich and meaty, with the juiciest finger lickingly good sauce.
After eating this dish many a time, I decided to give it a go myself. Having looked at a variety of recipes, I was surprised to find that this dish is remarkably easy to prepare and cook, consisting pretty much of the ingredients in the title. Its all very Hugh Fearnley Three Good Things-ish!
I served this with Fattoush, seen in the picture below.
Chicken Liver with Pomegranate Molasses- Sawda Djej
-500g chicken liver, washed and trimmed of any sinew
-4 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
-5-6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
-Knob of butter
-1-2 tbsp of olive oil
-1 tsp of caster sugar
-Pomegranate seeds and coriander to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan big enough to hold the chicken livers. When hot, fry the chicken livers until browned on each side, about 7-10 minutes, depending on how you like them cooked. Remove form the pan and set aside momentarily. Add the butter and allow to melt, it should foam. Add the sliced garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Return the chicken liver, add the pomegranate molasses and sugar and stir. Allow the molasses to bubble on a very low heat for about 1 minute. Season to taste. I like to serve mine garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander or parsley.