Nutritional Super Heroes- Organ Meat

I had never had any sort of organ meat until I attended culinary school.

Culinary school trip to Asti, Italy. 2007

Culinary school trip to Asti, Italy. 2007

There I learned old school classic French recipes like pate. I was kind of shocked to grind meat into a paste. This was completely foreign to me. But, one of the great things about classic French technique is that you learn how to use the whole animal. This falls right in line with my current Paleo lifestyle. There is a reason why your grandma and your mom told you to eat liver. It’s inexpensive and packs a nutritional punch. We’ve moved from using the whole animal to simply relying on muscle proteins. This can leave you without enough of some really important nutrients.

Liver definitely has a distinct flavor, but the garlic, thyme, and onions really mellow it out. I feel like a superhero when I eat it! I can feel my body say, “thank you!”

1 oz chicken liver (preferably from pastured chickens) contains:

3732 IU Vitamin A

81.2 mg Choline

4.7 mcg Vitamin B12

162 mcg Folate

23.1 mcg Selenium

  • Vitamin A:  This nutrient comes from two sources, animals and plants. The animal form is pre formed and does not need to be converted, unlike the plant form. Vitamin A from animals (retinoid) helps with vision, immune system, growth, reproduction, bone development, and maintenance of epithelial and mucosal tissues.
  • Choline is a B Vitamin that reduces chronic inflammation. It also keeps your cell membranes functioning properly, allows nerves to communicate with your muscles, prevents the build-up of homocysteine, a compound associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Vitamin B12 is vital for energy production, maintaining healthy nerve cells, the production of DNA and RNA, and many other functions within the body.
  • Folate is another B vitamin. It supports red blood cell production, supports cell production, reduces build up of homocysteine, and allows nerved to function properly.
  • Selenium is a key mineral for healthy thyroid function.

Chicken Liver Pate Recipe (or buy it ready to go from POTG!)

1/2 pound chicken livers, well-trimmed

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp fresh thyme

½ tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)

1/2 cup water or chicken broth

4 oz beef or pork fat (melted and cooled)

In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled. The pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

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