How to Remove Membrane From Chicken Livers Before Cooking

by Sarah Bourque

Chicken livers offer rich flavor and posses a high nutritional value. Whether your livers end up deep fried, sauteed or in a mousse, removing the chewy membranes before cooking will benefit your dish. The liver itself varies from light to ruddy pink. It unfolds easily into an uneven butterfly shape. One side is a large smooth lobe, and the other side is a smaller, more unevenly shaped lobe. A small lumpy section, consisting mostly of stringy white membranes and fat, sits between the two lobes. Trimming up the chicken livers is easy and creates a smoother texture.

Spread the chicken liver open. Place the unfolded chicken liver on a cutting board, membrane side up. Cut the large lobe off from the rest of the liver with a sharp paring knife. Trim off any noticeable white pieces from the large lobe, if any, and set the large lobe aside in a large colander.

Pull the stringy membrane piece away from the smaller lobe with one hand. Use your other hand to remove it with a careful slice of the knife. Trim off any remaining fat, fibers or bile from the liver. Set the trimmed liver aside with the larger lobe.

Repeat until you have removed the membranes and trimmed up all of your livers. Rinse the colander of trimmed, pink livers under cold running water.

Pat the chicken livers dry with paper towels. Prepare them in your desired dish or freeze them for later use.

Items you will need

  • Chicken livers
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp paring knife
  • Colander or strainer
  • Paper towels


  • You can trim the chicken livers without cutting them apart, if desired. Simply keep the livers intact, carve and cut off the membrane, then trim up the livers as described.

About the Author

Sarah Bourque has been a freelance writer since 2006 and is based in the Pacific Northwest. She writes and edits for the local publisher, Pacific Crest Imprint and has written for several online content sites. Her work recently appeared in "The Goldendale Tourism and Economic Development Magazine" and "Sail the Gorge!" magazine. She attended Portland Community College where she studied psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images