Southern Fried Chicken Liver and Rumaki Jam Balsamic Pecan Burger

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

My inspiration for Southern Fried Chicken Liver and Rumaki Jam Balsamic Pecan Burger was my
love for both burgers on the grill and fried chicken livers. The smell of burgers on the grill is one of my favorite things second to the taste of a burger in my mouth. Fried chicken livers are a decadant indulgence from childhood. Rumaki became a treat that I did not have until adulthood. So why not combine these flavors to create a “BETTER BURGER”.


Chicken Livers:
1 pound of chicken livers, washed and drained
1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce, divided
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced and divided
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 tablespoons sea salt, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, freshly cracked, divided

1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar, divided
3 tablespoons Lea and Perrins Worcheshire Sauce, (or any type Worcheshire sauce)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided

Marinated Olives:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, drained
1/2 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
1 teaspoon herbs of provence
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 strips thick-cut bacon

Rumaki Jam:
1 tablespoon lemon zest, divided
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup pinapple, chopped
1 cup whole pitted dates, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups mixed baby greens
3 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced

8-10 Nature Sweet Cherry Tomatoes, sliced

Garlic Spread:
1/2 cup butter, softened

6 Kaiser rolls, split

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing grill

3/4 cup Blue Plate Mayonnaise, (or any good quality mayonnaise)


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover,or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. In a large bowl combine teriyaki, buttermilk, ginger, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until blended. Soak the chicken livers for 20 minutes in the teriyaki mixture. Pour flour, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large resealable plastic zipper bag. Shake to combine and set aside.

To make the patties, combine chuck, pecans, balsamic vinegar, worcheshire sauce, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Handling as little as possible, form into 6 equal patties, to fit the size of the rolls. Place on a platter and cover with Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil and set aside.

Place a large fire-proof skillet, with a lid, on grill rack and bring to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon garlic to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent over browning. Add kalamata olives, green olives, Sutter Home White Merlot, herbs of provence and red pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes. Remove olives and liquid, placing in seperate bowls. When olives are cool to the touch, chop and set aside.

Dry skillet with paper towels and return to heat. Place strips of bacon in the skillet and cook 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Remove skillet from grill and remove bacon. Drain on paper towels to remove grease. Set aside. Save bacon grease in skillet.

Drain chicken livers, gently, place one at a time into plastic bag of flour mixture. Shake the bag to coat each of the livers completely. Return skillet to grill rack and add 1/4 cup of olive oil. Bring the oil to a shimmer, and place the livers, a few at a time, into the oil. Fry on medium-high heat, 5-6 minutes, on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Do Not Overcook. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Drain grease from skillet, leaving behind the browned bits. Return skillet to heat. Bring to medium-high heat and add liquid from marinated olives. Reserving 2 tablespoons for dressing. Stir to loosen browned bits and add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest, pineapple juice, pineapple, chopped olives and dates. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes and add 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce and bring back to a simmer. Cover with the skillet lid and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of liquid from marinated olives, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 tablespoon parsley, lemon juice, pepper sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside. In a large bowl combine greens, green onion and red onion. Cover with foil and refrigerate.

Place tomato slices single layer on a plate and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Cover and set aside.

In a small bowl combine, butter, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend with a fork. Spread evenly, cut side of rolls, with garlic buttter. Wrap in foil and set aside.

Brush grill rack with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook 5-8 minutes, on each side for medium. During the last 2-3 minutes of grilling, place the cut side down of rolls, on grill rack. Toast until lightly browned. Remove both the grilled patties and toasted rolls from grill. Place patties on a platter and tent with foil, to rest and keep warm, for 5 minutes, before assembling the burgers.

To assemble the burgers, spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise on cut side of roll. Whisk dressing to reblend and pour over salad, toss to coat. Place a handful of salad on each lower roll and follow with even number of tomato slices. Place a grilled pattie on top of tomatoes and top with 1/4 cup of Rumaki Jam. Divide chicken livers to fit on top of pattie and top with remaining roll.

Serve with Sutter Home White Merlot and Enjoy!