Warm Spinach Salad with Chicken Livers and Bacon

I know. I know! To most this combination sounds appalling but I promise you this is not the rubber horrible liver your folks forced down you as a child or that grey slab covered in slimy overcooked onions you might have been served in a school cafeteria in the bad old days. For most folks, I would venture to say if you try this you will like this. For the others, well, oh well.

I was traveling on business to the Tidewater Virginia area one time and my friend, Jack whose mom lived in the area, told me to check out this great restaurant he found out on Great Neck Rd in Virginia Beach called, “The Costal Grill”. Well, he was not wrong. The food while not free was wonderful!! I try to visit them every time I am in the area.

Recently, Jack and I were together on one of Jack’s visits out to San Diego. We reminiscing about old times as old friends will do and I asked him if he remembered the name of that restaurant he told me about on Great Neck Rd. It took some Google searches to figure it out. As he was searching we both agreed that their Chicken Liver on spinach with a warm vinaigrette was THE best. When we tracked down the name an called them, Mo, the head chef was too busy to talk and “didn’t share recipes anyway” . So I decided to do it myself. If this isn’t right Mo, you only have yourself to blame. 


3-4 Rashers ( just love that word!! – means 6-8 slices ) of bacon, sliced thinly
1 pot of fresh chicken livers, cleaned of any clingy bits and cut into mouthful-sized pieces
A couple of fistfuls of your favorite croutons (Tom Heckroth’s get my vote but each to their own)
2 Tbs of good quality olive oil
3-4 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp sweetener (sugar or honey or substitute)
A bag or box of fresh baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat with 2tbsp olive oil, add the bacon and cook until crispy
  2. Scoop the bacon out set aside on paper towels
  3. Divide spinach into bowls
  4. Fry and turn the chicken livers until browned on the outside, but still pink inside (~2 min)
  5. Place chicken livers, bacon and croutons on top of spinach
  6. Reduce heat; deglaze with a couple of tablespoons of water; add balsamic vinegar then stir vigorously
  7. Pour the warm vinaigrette over salad.  Serve Immediately