Let’s set one thing straight. Livers do not store toxins. They neutralize and eliminate them (chemical agents, drugs, poisons). These products get stored in muscle fat, if at all, not the liver.
Ok, fine, but what about that crazy flavor?
The number one thing to remember about eating liver is that it will always have its own unique flavor. It’s not ever going to taste like a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Liver is strong and bold and unapologetic about its place in the world of things that have tastes. Liver has worked pretty hard during its lifetime, and any organ or muscle that works that hard is going to offer a more intense flavor. Organs and muscles that don’t exert much effort during an animal’s lifetime are going to taste much more mild, which is why a pork chop is a blander option than, say, a shoulder roast.
What about that horrible texture?
That's the cook’s fault, not the liver’s. We've already been over the grizzly bits you'll want to pluck out. Then, think of liver as a medium-rare steak. If lightly browned on both sides and cooked to perfection, it will be downright creamy and soft. Take it over that edge and it becomes gritty, dry, mealy, tough, or any combination of those unappetizing traits. So, skip it if it's literally been cooked to bits.
So, here's how you do it:
One way I’ve enjoyed whole liver without any sauce is to confit it. Simply salt and pepper the livers, place in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cover with rendered duck fat (or even just olive oil) and cook, uncovered, at 175 to 200 degrees for four hours. The fat keeps the liver moist and gives it a sweet, nutty flavor, and the low temp cooks it just enough.
1 lb butter, plus 2 tbsp, set out on counter for 30-40 minutes (not fully to room temp, still a little firm/cold)
3 oz diced bacon
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced apple
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1 to 2 lbs duck livers depending on the intensity of liver flavor you are going for (chicken or rabbit livers will work, too)
1 shot bourbon (or brandy or whatever brown liquor you have on hand)
1/2 lb mascarpone
Salt to taste
1. Over medium-high heat, in a sauté pan, cook bacon until just cooked through. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.