Panko gives you more options than regular breadcrumbs with just about anything you use them for. Panko breadcrumbs are made by cooking bread with electric current -- a holdover from World War II when the Japanese couldn't use heat to bake bread -- and shaving it into long, sharp shards with a larger surface area than regular breadcrumbs. Panko is the restaurant standard for deep-frying, but you can use it to create a crust on just about anything you want to bake, from fried chicken to chicken livers. Use extra-large panko breadcrumbs when baking chicken livers to get the most crunch.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the rack in the center. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and let it sit at room temperature.
Pat the chicken livers dry with a paper towel. Trim off any white connective tissue, visible veins and greenish-yellow patches.
Season the livers on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the melted butter and a shallow dish of panko breadcrumbs beside each other.
Coat a chicken liver in butter with one hand and drop it in the panko. Use your dry hand to press the liver into the panko on all sides to coat it. Transfer the liver to a well-oiled baking sheet.
Bake the livers for 10 minutes and turn them over. Bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Take the livers out and check the internal temperature of one or two of them to ensure they reached 165 F. Gently blot up excess oil on the breading with a paper towel.
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A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.