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Chicken Livers and Onion

What makes this chicken livers and onion recipe so special is the addition of cognac as they cook. Pair this scrumptious flavor with caramelized onions, and you have a winning dish.

A wood table with a bowl of onions behind a white plate of livers and onions

It’s no secret that I love the taste of chicken livers. I ate them as a child and when I left for college, I brought my toaster oven specifically so I could make bacon wrapped livers. I made this dish more times than I can count.

My family also used to have beef liver with onions, and even though I love it, I prefer chicken livers.

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What makes this chicken liver recipe outstanding? I add a splash of cognac which makes the flavor of the sauce so delicious. If you like chicken livers, you’re going to love this recipe.

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Helpful tips

  • Always wash chicken livers. You want to remove the blood, trim the fat off and remove any membranes that are still attached. I usually do this as the onions are caramelizing.
  • Place a paper towel on a jelly roll pan, and as you wash and trim the liver, lay them on the towel and pat them dry with more paper towels once you’re finished preparing them.
  • Liver is nutrient rich and can be eaten medium rare. They are sweet and creamy that way so don’t overcook the livers as the texture will be grainy and tough.
  • If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you may need to cook the livers in batches.
  • If you want extra caramelized onions, use as many sliced onions as you wish.

How to make chicken livers and onions


Get a large skillet or frying pan, spatula, and paper towels.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – large onion, chicken livers, and cognac.

Onion, livers, cognac and a pan on a table.

Step two

Peel the onion, cut in half, and then cut each half into thin slices. Get salt, olive oil, garlic, and ground pepper. (A)

Step three

Heat the pan on medium heat. Once it heats up, add 1 tablespoon oil.

Step four

Once the oil shimmers, add the sliced onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir the onion every few minutes until it is done and caramelized. (B)

Left - A board with sliced onion, salt, oil and a pan. Right - onions sauteed in a pan

You may have to set the heat to medium-high heat if the onion is cooking quick enough for you.

Step five

Meanwhile, while the onion is cooking – wash, trim, and remove any membranes from the livers.(C)

Step six

Remove the onion from the pan, cover with foil, and place in the oven at the “keep warm” setting.

Step seven

Lower the heat under the pan to medium low, add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter.

Step eight

Once the butter melts, add the cleaned chicken livers. (D)

Left - a white container with livers in it. Right - oil and butter in a pan with raw livers

Step nine

Add garlic paste (or 3 cloves of garlic, minced), cognac, salt, and black pepper. (E)

Step ten

Cook for 5 minutes, and flip the chicken livers and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes. You want the livers to be browned on the outside, yet pink on the inside. (F)

Left - garlic added to the livers in a pan. Right - the livers cooked in cognac

Look at the thick sauce.

Step eleven

Transfer the livers and all the liquid in the pan to a shallow dish and take the onion out of the oven.

Overhead view of a white plate of livers and bowl of onions

Mmmm. Time to add the onions on top.

A wood table with a bowl of onions behind a white plate of livers and onions

Doesn’t that look good?

Overhead view of a white plate of chicken livers with onions on top

And now for my bite.

A fork with a bite taken out of a liver with onion on it over a plate of the livers

So good. I hope you enjoyed this chicken livers and onion recipe. Let me know what you think if you make it.

And as always, may all your dishes be delish.

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A white bowl with chicken livers with onions on top - square

Chicken Livers and Onion

One of the things that makes this chicken livers and onion recipe so special is the addition of cognac as you cook the liver. The flavor is scrumptious and pair it all with caramelized onions and you have a winning dish.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken livers, chicken livers and onion, liver and onion
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 231kcal


Caramelize the Onions

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (cut in half and then cut in thin slices)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (sea salt)

Add the Livers

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound chicken livers (rinsed, trimmed of fat, and membrane removed – if there is one)
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 3 teaspoons garlic paste (or 3 garlic cloves – minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Once it heats up, add oil and once that heats up (shimmers), add the sliced onion and salt.
    1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large onion, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Saute the onions for 10 minutes, stir every few minutes until the onions have browned and are caramelized.
  • Remove the onions from the pan, cover with a piece of tin foil, and place in the oven on the keep warm setting.
  • Meanwhile, as you are cooking the onion, rinse, trim the fat off and remove any membrane from the livers. Pat dry with the paper towels.
  • Turn the heat under the pan down to medium. Add olive oil, and butter and once the butter melts, add the chicken livers to the pan.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 pound chicken livers
  • Add garlic, cognac, salt, black pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Flip each liver and cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes. The chicken livers should be browned on the outside and pink inside.
    1/3 cup cognac, 3 teaspoons garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Transfer the livers and sauce to a serving dish and drape some of the onions on top. You will have extra onions, add to plates as needed.
  • Serve
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Helpful tips


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 319mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10121IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 8mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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  1. Love chicken livers! Question: can I use white wine instead of Cognac? With such a busy schedule, I want to add this to my roster of quick meals. I’m thinking of adding patsy’s to this as well!

    1. You can, Gregory. It just won’t have that “flavor”. I adore chicken livers. I hope you enjoy it when you try it.

  2. I’ve been incorporating more organ meats into my diet lately and usually hiding the liver in other dishes but I love the idea of making them front and center in the meal like this.

  3. perfect timing as today is National liver and onions day and I am so happy to find this making it today!

  4. I can’t wait to make this. I’m a big fan of organ meat, especially chicken livers. They’re so packed with protein, iron, and B vitamins, and they’re pretty darn tasty too. I love the onions with these.

  5. I’ve never been a huge fan of liver and onions, but this recipe has changed my mind! So delicious and my whole family actually liked it!

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