Chicken Liver and Heart Ragu

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup chicken stock 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

4 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice 

1 small carrot, grated or finely diced 

1 onion, chopped 

4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated 

8 ounces chicken livers (6 to 8 livers), cleaned and finely chopped 

2 to 3 ounces chicken hearts (about 4 hearts), finely chopped 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

4 to 5 juniper berries 

2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped and finely chopped 

1 fresh bay leaf 

3 tablespoons tomato paste 

1/2 cup Tuscan red wine 

1/4 cup sweet red vermouth 

One 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes 


  1. Place the porcinis in a small saucepan, cover with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer and reconstitute for 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcinis to a cutting board and chop them. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the carrots, onions and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken livers and hearts, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sage, juniper, rosemary, bay leaf and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red wine and vermouth and let simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the porcini liquid, making sure the grit in the bottom of the pot does not get added. Stir and then let the ragu simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.