Chicken Liver with Caramelized Red Onion Tapa

One of my favourite tapas . The original of this is actually made with duck liver which, if you could get it, would be very decadent and luxurious. However, the more widely available chicken livers work very well, too. The Pedro Ximénez [pronounced “Hi-MEN-eth”], which can be difficult to find and tastes like liquid raisins, is a delightful addition but not absolutely essential. At a pinch you might substitute cream sherry though it doesn’t taste the same.


serves: 4
preparation time: 15 mins
cooking time: 1 hr


  • 25g butter
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, halved and finely sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 40g caster sugar, prefereably unrefined
  • 100ml red wine
  • 30ml sherry vinegar
  • 100ml Pedro Ximénez
  • 4 plump fresh chicken livers (well, halves/lobes, technically), trimmed
  • 4 thin slices baguette
  • Salt & pepper


The caramelized red onion. In a small frying pan, melt the butter with one tablespoon of the olive oil and then sweat the finely sliced red onion for five minutes until soft and translucent. Pour in the red wine and sherry vinegar, then add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Simmer gently until the liquid has evaporated (~20-30 minutes).

The Pedro Ximénez. Boil it to reduce by 50% then allow to cool before use.

Cooking and assembling. When you are ready to serve, fry the chicken livers in the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat leaving them slightly pink in the middle. Top each slice of baguette with some of the caramelized red onion and sit a chicken liver on top. Drizzle over a teaspoon or so of the reduced Pedro Ximénez.

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