Balsamic glazed chicken-liver ravioli: 73 cents/serving

Thanks to the lack of cheese and expensive meat, these are the most inexpensive ravioli I’ve ever made. They also happen to be some of the best ravioli I’ve ever made. (If you like pâté, that is.) Intensely flavored, with a bit of crunch from some fried sage, these are at their best if you make your own pasta, which is actually extremely simple, but you can also use prepackaged gyoza wrappers (usually housed near either the tofu or the mushrooms at the grocery store) if you’re in a pinch. I don’t like to use them both because of the cost and because I think they’re too thin and flaccid and don’t absorb sauce flavors very well, but I’ve done it before and can attest that it works.

We got about 3 servings from this batch. The recipe is adapted from Chris Consentino by way of Food & Wine magazine, which, I might add, actually uses gyoza wrappers in their adaptation. For shame!

Advance prep:
Needs 2 hours for the livers to marinate and 20-30 minutes for the cooked filling to chill.

• 1/2 lb. chicken livers, trimmed of any large veins or fat: 98 cents
• 2 small shallots (or 1 medium), thinly sliced: 4 cents
• 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced: 1 cent
• 2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped (garden): $0
• 1 tsp sage leaves, chopped (garden): $0
• 1 T balsamic vinegar: 10 cents
• 3 T butter: 18 cents
• Salt & pepper: 2 cents

• 4 T butter: 28 cents
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (good versions are inexpensive at both Costco and Grocery Outlet): 40 cents
• 1/2 cup chicken broth: 4 cents
• 10 whole sage leaves (garden): $0

• Approx. 2 cups flour: 15 cents
• 2 eggs (garden): $0

TOTAL: $2.20/3 = 73 cents/serving

Mix the livers with the thyme, sage, garlic, shallots, and 1 T balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for two hours.

Heat 2 T butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the contents of the bowl and cook until livers are lightly browned, turning them over occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the remaining T butter, then process until smooth.

Put in a small bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until chilled. Meanwhile, make the pasta. I go into detail about how to do this, complete with pictures, in a similar post about steak and chard ravioli, so if you’re making your own, click on over to that post to see how simple it actually is.

Using about 1-2 tsp of the chilled filling per ravioli, I got a batch of about 19. Check out the difference in pasta color between the ones here, which I made with our hens’ eggs, and the steak and chard ones in the link above, which I made with store-bought eggs.

Set a pot of salted water on to boil for the ravioli. When boiling, cook the ravioli for about 3-4 minutes or until al dente, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt 4 T butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet or sauté pan with lid. Add the sage leaves and cook until crisped.

Set leaves aside. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until syrupy, just a few minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the drained, al-dente ravioli (I just used a skimmer to transfer the cooked ravioli to the sauté pan) and stir gently to coat with the sauce.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for a minute or two to ensure the pasta is completely cooked and pasta totally saturated with balsamic glaze. Give it one more gentle stir and serve in shallow bowls, drizzled with the rest of the balsamic glaze and the crispy sage leaves crumbled on top.

2 responses to “Balsamic glazed chicken-liver ravioli: 73 cents/serving

  1. Balsamic & liver, good combination! Liver is high in nutrients, and although you can often get full on cheap food, it’s hard to replace nutrients. Might I suggest purchasing a bag of frozen mediterranean mix from costco or something? They have broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and some other stuff in there.

    Love your concept!

    • Thanks! Truth be told, I normally would eat this with a side salad with lettuce from the garden, but was a little salad-ed out on the day I made it. Still, I should’ve mentioned it as an option. (Love the option of frozen bagged vegetables, though—a great thing to try when those vegetables go on sale!)

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