My Halloween dinner at Hatchet Hall in Culver City was all treats, no tricks. My wife, friends and I took another crack at Chef Brian Dunsmoor’s delectable Pork Chop, but nothing could prepare us for the impact of this restaurant’s luxurious chicken liver toast.
Preparing Chicken Liver ($13) at Hatchet Hall is an involved, multi-step process that starts by cleaning all the “nasty stuff” from this iron-rich organ meat. The livers are blotted dry, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme, and seared in a hot pan. Bacon’s rendered in the pan and deglaced with apple brandy and aged sherry vinegar. Butter, crème fraiche, and roasted chicken stock all contribute to a pan sauce. The livers remain rosy hued and creamy. The dish’s bold color comes from “the nasty bits at the bit at the bottom of the pan.” Livers get a rough chop on the cutting board before they’re finished in the pan with parsley.
Paige Russell, who makes all breads and pastries in-house, contributes a crusty, multi-purpose country loaf that’s brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and grilled. Dunsmoor slathers the bread with onion jam, onions slow-cooked with touch of brown sugar, sherry vinegar and more. He spoons on the chicken liver concoction and sauce and seasons with sea salt and tangy aged apple vinegar from France. Each plate comes with seasonal pickles, which could include cucumbers, ramps, green tomatoes or okra, depending on the season.
This is a fantastic chicken liver dish that’s rich enough to warrant sharing. While the majority of Hatchet Hall’s menu changes seasonally Dunsmoor said, “That one’s definitely there to stay, because it’s not really a seasonal dish.” That’s great evergreen news.