Sautéed Chicken Liver on Toast

This delicious recipe for sautéed chicken liver on toast is a Tuscan specialty. Toasted bread gets slathered with a combination of chicken livers, anchovies, capers, white wine, and butter–who can argue with tradition?

Sautéed chicken liver on a piece of toast with a bite out of it, on a piece of slate with a knife next to it.

This chicken liver recipe, called Crostini di Fegatini in Italian, is totally Tuscan. The cooked livers keep well for several days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.–Aurora Baccheschi Berti

LC That Other Tuscan Tradition Note

The author notes that this recipe is a Tuscan tradition. Huh. Who knew? Although we guess it should come as no surprise to learn that a splash of wine, that other Tuscan tradition, enhances the character of this chicken liver sauté.

Sautéed Chicken Liver on Toast

Sautéed chicken liver on a piece of toast with a bite out of it, on a piece of slate with a knife next to it.
This sautéed chicken liver recipe calls for livers to be cooked in butter with bay leaves, wine, anchovies, and capers then spread on toast. It's a Tuscan favorite.

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
8 servings
298 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the My Tuscan Kitchen cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken livers (about 12 large livers) rinsed, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth or as needed
  • 6 anchovies
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers rinsed well (optional)
  • 8 slices country-style bread toasted


  • Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bay leaves and, when the onion begins to take on color, add the livers. The livers may exude a lot of liquid; if they do, allow a little additional time to simmer off the excess. Then cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn golden brownish, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until it evaporates. Then add the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any of the livers that have stuck. Transfer the livers to a cutting board and let cool.
  • Add the anchovies and capers, if using, to the cutting board and mince everything. Transfer the mince to the skillet with the remaining butter and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. You want to simply warm the mixture; don’t let it get too hot.
  • Drizzle the toast with a little of the liquid from the livers and then spread the livers over the toast.
Print RecipeBuy the My Tuscan Kitchen cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 298kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 17g (6%)Protein: 16g (32%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 277mg (92%)Sodium: 266mg (12%)Potassium: 277mg (8%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 8212IU (164%)Vitamin C: 14mg (17%)Calcium: 59mg (6%)Iron: 8mg (44%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Please, just say to yourself: a) I only live once and b) if I’m going to cheat, I am going to cheat big. Butter, chicken livers, a little more butter. With every bite, your inhibition will melt away like the anchovies in this recipe. Do it. Do it for a holiday and let yourself (and your family — if they get a taste) enjoy this recipe at least once a year. Splendid. Divine. This would also be a wonderful warm spin on traditional chopped liver. Kill me now.

Yum! We really enjoyed this wonderful small plate last night, served with pieces of toasted five-grain bread — I can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers as well. I am a huge fan of paté, and to me, this recipe was sort of like a deconstructed pate. The combination of butter, onion, and chicken livers works very well. I was pleasantly surprised by the briny capers in the liver mixture as well. (I know they are optional in the recipe, but they should not be left out!) Throughout the cooking process, you are tempted to salt and pepper the chicken livers, but the addition of anchovies really gives a great saltiness to the mixture instead. I really think this might be good on matzo crackers as well. My only comment on the recipe itself was adding the one cup of white wine — that seemed like a lot of liquid, and it never all evaporated like the recipe says to wait for. I would reduce this amount to 1/2 cup instead. I think the recipe should give an estimated time on how long to cook the livers in the wine; I would hate to overcook them while waiting for all of the wine to evaporate! This was a delicious recipe that I will definitely be making again — a splash of Cognac and a sprinkling of parsley might also be good additions to the recipe.

I must start by saying that this is an acquired taste. I DO love liver, so I knew I would like this recipe. This is a perfect dish to serve as an appetizer at a large gathering, buffet, etc., as you can prepare it ahead of time and assemble it last minute. Now all of this being said, it DOES have a strong liver taste, so this not be for everyone. I was hoping for more of a anchovy and capers taste, so next time I make it, I will add a tad more of those two. The onions do help balance the liver taste, and when just adding a thin layer to a toast I believe most will like it. Liver lovers like myself will devour it.

We love chicken liver paté but are a little bored with it, so this recipe came at exactly the right time. It is a simple dish to make, taking only about 25 minutes. We also love anchovies, and I highly recommend leaving both the anchovies and the capers in. The two flavors really made the dish come alive.

I was worried that there would be too much liver, not enough other ingredients, but the recipe worked. Plus, golden is not what I’d call the color of browned chicken livers. Despite these gripes, the recipe was actually pretty easy. I minced the cooked livers quite small, but stopped before I got to a pate. I asked the tasters (I don’t eat them myself, never been a liver fan), and the texture seemed just right. What sent everyone back for seconds, though, was the flavor combination. It hit the mark perfectly.

This recipe is great! It is simple, straightforward, and delicious! Make sure you use an unsalted butter. I made this twice in one weekend…it is a keeper! I added some fresh parsley, finely chopped, on top of the toast, and it brightened up the dish.

Originally published December 07, 2011


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. Firstly, I agree with Viki – the capers and anchovies are essential–they are what give this recipe its pizzazz. I substituted wine for a flavorful beer and added a bit of sugar to counter the bitterness. Also, I made this recipe a main dish by keeping the livers whole, chopping the onions coursely, and adding a flour roux to thicken the broth. Delicious!

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish