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Crostini Toscani

November 26, 2014

I thought the Wednesday before Thanksgiving would be the only acceptable time to post this recipe… Yes, I realize this is not a recipe that calls for turkey liver, gizzards, or giblets, but it is somewhat similar… and I figure anyone who is willing to eat turkey liver, might be interested in chicken liver…

Before you say “EWW” and judge me for a posting a recipe that consists of chicken livers, you should know that Chicken Liver Pâté, also known as Crostini Toscani, is one of the most famous Tuscan antipasti dishes. If I could sum it up in one word, it would be… SENSATIONAL.


Whenever people ask me what my favorite Italian food is my response always surprises them. Yes, pasta is good, pizza is plenty, bistecca fiorentina is the best steak on earth, and gelato makes my heart melt… But my favorite thing to order on the menu is Crostini Toscani.

Usually restaurants serve it warm and drizzled with olive oil, alongside other mixed crostini, cured meats, cheeses, and olives during the antipasti course. If you’re lucky, your date will refuse to eat chicken liver and that just means more for you! I don’t know what is it about Crostini Toscani, but I absolutely love the minerall-iness (totally a word) and earthiness of chicken liver, which I normally can’t stand when eating turkey gizzards and the like during Thanksgiving.


Aside from being the absolute perfect antipasto, chicken liver is suuuuper inexpensive and high in iron and zinc… So if you do decide to live a little and treat yourself to Crostini Toscani and discover that it might not be for you, at least you didn’t waste a lot of money on chicken livers and you’re getting a decent amount of iron and zinc… So there’s really nothing not to love about it, if you think about it.

Crostini Toscani by the Bite-Sized Baker:

½ pound chicken livers

1 yellow onion, chopped coarsely

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced

½ cup Vin Santo

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained

5 anchovy filets

1 tablespoon butter

8 slices of Tuscan bread (A crusty baguette works just as well!)

Extra virgin olive oil, optional

  1. Rinse, drain, and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut chicken livers into small pieces and set aside.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add chopped chicken livers and sage, break apart any large pieces, and cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add Vin Santo and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. While chicken mixture is simmering, combine capers, anchovy filets, and butter in a food processor and pulse until combined. Set aside.
  6. After 30 minutes, the chicken mixture should not be dry, but should have some extra “sauce” in the pan. Add caper and anchovy mixture to skillet, stir to combine, and simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes. Season, to taste with salt and pepper. If you prefer more of a pâté consistency, combine cooked chicken mixture with capers, anchovy filets, and butter in food processor and pulse until blended.
  7. Toast the bread until golden brown and spread on a serving plate. Moisten toast with a spoonful of sauce and spread equal amounts of the chicken liver mixture on one side of the toast. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon Cooper permalink
    November 26, 2014 12:00 pm

    Had this for the first time with Devon and Blaine at Sasso di Dante just behind the Duomo. So good! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Judith Bassoul permalink
    November 26, 2014 9:50 pm

    I gotta try this one! Looks delicious. Once you fall in love with chicken liver crostini…

  3. Shannon Cooper permalink
    November 26, 2014 10:31 pm

    Tried this for the first time with Devon and my husband at Sasso di Dante behind the Duomo. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


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