Albanian liver Arnavut ciğeri [pron:jee/air], in the Turkish Liver style is a popular choice here for the meze table!
Although it’s Albanian, it’s found all over Turkey
Historically, this dish dates back to the times of the Ottoman Empire which stretched far and wide from Vienna to the Yemen including Albania. At the hub of culinary matters lay the vast kitchens of Topkapi Palace where food from all corners of the empire was prepared and served.
In fact, to this day Turkish liver done in this way can be found over many regions and not just in Turkey.
Personally, I LOVE liver and so did my Dad but since he is no longer with us, I hardly ever eat it. My family just doesn’t like it. I used to fry it up English-style with onions for myself and Dad and we would eat it with great pleasure.Here, it’s not all that common except as a
Here, it’s not all that common except as a meze where it can be hot or cold, and always prepared in this Albanian style. The liver is generally cubed as opposed to sliced, and the accompanying onions are always uncooked with parsley and sumac. Mmmm.
Before embarking on my meal-for-one, I checked some other recipes for this well-known dish and I think the one I found is by and away the most attractive as it uses a combination of several spices: flaked red pepper, cumin, and dried thyme not to mention garlic.
The taste is not overwhelmingly spicy but it is definitely mouthwatering!
That is if you like liver!
If you want succulent, go with lamb
By the way, I suggest you stick to lamb’s liver with its succulent taste and silky soft texture – lokum gibi – like Turkish delight as they say. There’s nothing wrong with cow’s, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Here in Istanbul, larger butchers’ tend to sell it already cut into cubes or they will prepare it for you on the spot. If you do it yourself at home, just remember to remove the membrane and any gristly bits first.
- In a bowl combine the flour, flaked red pepper, cumin, thyme, salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Add the cubes of liver and toss well, making sure it is evenly coated.
TIP I always put the flour etc in a plastic bag, then add the meat and shake well. This method works well.
- Serve on a bed of sliced red onion tossed with the remaining parsley and ground sumac.