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How to Cook Turkey Liver

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Turkey liver with onions, apples, and mashed potatoes, this is the most delicious way of cooking turkey liver.

white plate with fried liver, mashed potatoes and onions

Got some turkey liver and don’t know what to do with it? Learn how to cook turkey liver in the simplest and most delicious way. It is crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and ready in less than 10 minutes. You will need more time to cook the sides than the main for a change.

I’ve been buying turkey from a farmer in the village every year now for quite a long time. Every year, in November, I spend hours dividing a huge bird (this year it weighed 26 kg/ 57 lbs) into manageable portions, which I then freeze.

And the first things I cook with parts of that bird are the livers and a bone broth with some of the bones. I could freeze the liver as well, but I never do, it is so nice to have it fresh, and it has become almost a tradition. And probably the only time of the year when my husband eats liver…

If you like liver, learn How to Cook Liver (with Onions), either beef, pork, or chicken. Make some Peri Peri Chicken Livers or Romanian Deviled Eggs (with Liver Pate).

close up of sliced turkey liver on a wooden board

Cooking times for turkey liver

  • It is all about the thickness, this is the most important thing you have to know. It doesn’t matter how large it is, just how thick.
  • You will only have to cook it for a few minutes, about 2 minutes for a regular-sized one and 3 for something as thick as I had.
  • The livers I had were about as large as ¾ of my hand and about 4.5-5 cm/ 1.8-2 inches thick at their thickest part. I cooked them for exactly 3 minutes per side and had them crispy and dark on the outside and tender and slightly pink on the inside.
  • Some people like them slightly bloody, but I am not into that. Slightly pink is just the way I like them.
  • If you like them cooked through add another 30 seconds to 1 minute to the cooking time. However, keep in mind that if the liver is overcooked it will become tough and chewy. And so dry you will have difficulties swallowing it.
turkey liver with onions and sliced pieces on a board

How to cook?

  • Pat dry and sprinkle with flour to coat.
  • Pat or shake gently to remove the excess flour.
raw liver floured with all-purpose flour on a blue plate
  • Heat the oil (or fat) in a nonstick or cast-iron pan.
  • Fry on one side for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Read the above for more information regarding cooking times.
frying two pieces of turkey liver in a nonstick pan

Tips

Flour the livers before frying them. About 1 tablespoon flour would be enough, coat them and then pat them gently to remove the excess. The flour will make them nice and crispy.

Only season them after cooking.

Many people soak beef or pork liver in milk before cooking to remove the bitterness. This is not necessary when cooking turkey or chicken liver, they are not bitter at all. And they are much more tender than any other kinds.

As preparing the liver only takes minutes, start with cooking the onions and apples. And with the mashed potatoes.

sliced poultry liver pink on the inside sprinkled with coarse salt

How to make onions and apples for liver?

This is a typical German way of serving liver, calf, or beef liver actually. But it works just as well (if not even better) with turkey (or chicken).

  • Start with the mashed potatoes, as they will need to cook longer than the vegetables.
  • Quarter the onions and slice the quarters thinly. Quarter and slice the apples as well. You will need tart, crisp apples. (1)
  • Heat the oil in a large pan. You can also use rendered turkey fat if you have any. Or any other kind of rendered fat.
  • Cook the onions and the apples on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. (2)
  • Add stock, red wine, a little cream, salt, and pepper. (3)
  • Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft. (4)
  • Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium, and cook for about 2 minutes more to allow the liquids to cook off slightly.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and keep warm while you cook the liver.
chopped raw onions and apples in a bowl and cooking them in a saucepan

Can you reheat it?

Theoretically, yes, but it will become dry and frankly, cold liver tastes much better than dry liver.

It is better to serve the leftovers in a sandwich or on top of a salad.

Always keep the leftovers refrigerated in air tight container and up to 2 days.

Cooked turkey or chicken liver is not really suitable for freezing. I tried it, once thawed it was crumbly and not very appetizing.

turkey liver served with mashed potatoes and onion apple sauce on a white plate

More recipes with different turkey parts:

Dutch Oven Turkey Breast

Oven Slow-Cooked Leg

Roasted Drumsticks

Roasted Thighs

Baked Wings Recipe

turkey liver served with mashed potatoes and onion apple sauce on a white plate

How to Cook Turkey Liver

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Turkey liver with onions, apples, and mashed potatoes, this is the most delicious way of cooking turkey liver.

Ingredients

  • Onions and apples:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz onions (about 2 medium or 1 large)
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz crisp apples (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or rendered fat)
  • 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ 2/3 cup turkey or chicken stock
  • 60 ml/ 2 fl.oz/ ¼ cup red wine
  • 75 ml/ 2.5 fl.oz/ 1/3 cup heavy/double cream
  • fine sea salt and pepper
  • some chopped parsley
  • Turkey liver:
  • 2 large turkey livers (total weight about 450 g/ 1 lb) (Note)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (or rendered fat)
  • coarser sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Start with the mashed potatoes, your favorite recipe.



Onions and apples:

  1. Quarter the onions and slice the quarters thinly. Quarter and slice the apples as well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onions and the apples on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add stock, red wine, cream, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  4. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium, and cook for another 2 minutes to allow the liquids to cook off slightly.
  5. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and keep warm while you cook the liver. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.



Liver:

  1. Pat the livers dry with kitchen paper. Sprinkle with flour to coat lightly and pat gently to remove the excess flour.
  2. Heat the oil or fat in a nonstick or cast-iron pan. Fry the livers on one side for 3 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for further 3 minutes. If the livers are thinner reduce the cooking time to about 2 minutes and check. The liver should be creamy and slightly pink on the inside and crisp and dark on the outside.
  3. If you prefer it cooked through add 30 seconds to 1 minute to the cooking time. However, don't overcook the liver, it will become dry and chewy.
  4. Season with coarser sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, onions, and apples.

Notes

The livers I had were about 4.5-5 cm/ 1.8-2 inches thick at their thickest part. I cooked them for exactly 3 minutes per side and had them crispy and dark on the outside and tender and slightly pink on the inside.
If the livers are smaller and thinner cook them for about 2 minutes per side and check one to make sure it is pink and not bloody or overcooked.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1/2 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 899Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 414mgSodium: 964mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 21gProtein: 75g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

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