Economical, full of iron and intensely flavourful, chicken livers are an underrated delicacy that can be dressed up or down. Here, red wine, cream and bay leaf lend their richness to classic chicken livers, making this a hearty option when the temperature drops. 

Both a South African and my personal favourite, chicken livers are a dish I’ll never say no to – and when eating out, I often order the iconic peri peri chicken liver starter as my main dish. For those diners who aren’t so keen on spice, this recipe is more about depth of flavour than fire, with the addition of Spanish smoked paprika lending just a hint of warmth. I usually serve this dish with some homemade chilli sauce on the side to add as I please.

Creamy Chicken Livers

Prep time: 15 mins /Cook time: 25 mins /Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 500g chicken livers, rinsed
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 25g butter
  • 1 sprig each of thyme, oregano and rosemary, finely chopped
  • 5ml smoked paprika
  • 50ml dry red wine
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 10ml tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use a large casserole that can go from the stovetop to the oven. Slice the onion into thin wedges and fry in the butter until soft. Increase the heat and add the chicken livers, herbs, paprika and salt and pepper. Fry the livers until slightly browned and pour in the red wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Turn down the heat and stir through the cream, tomato paste, crushed garlic and bay leaf. Transfer the casserole to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the dish is browned and bubbling.

Scatter over the chopped parsley and serve the livers hot with crusty bread, lemon wedges and a few glasses of Lutzville Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

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