Did ya ever wonder how a seemingly innocuous or even silly conversation can suddenly spawn an idea? Who knew a twitter chat about movie trailers and nightmares – one filled with words like yum and ick – would lead to a blog post about chopped liver. Go figure.
Five days later I’m writing this post and much to my amazement I could not find chicken livers until just a few days ago, (the original conversation happened a few weeks ago), so here you go.
I actually haven’t made this in years; we’re talking about oh eight, ten maybe? No joke. Well it’s not exactly health food, more like a heart attack in a bowl but oh so tasty. Why is that?
It brought back memories of spending time with my mom during the holidays cooking like crazy. One of the things she would do at this time of year is make chopped liver. We would chop and mix everything by hand. My mom had this beat up old wooden bowl she would use exclusively for making chopped liver and she had this chopper that looks like a single blade mezzaluna. She’d stand there and chop away and when I was old enough she’d let me help, always checking to make sure the consistency was just right.
The bowl eventually cracked which is too bad because if she knew what I now know about caring for wooden kitchen tools I’d bet she’d still have it. Well, she now uses a food processor and so do I and the chopper is now part of my collection of kitchen tools.
In any case I suppose between that conversation and Rosh Hashanah being right around the corner at that time, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. So I made chopped liver.
I guess once every eight to ten years isn’t too bad, right?
And listen, don’t go trying to make this “healthy, it ain’t gonna work. If your going to make chopped liver, then make it already and don’t make a habit out of it, okay? Good.
Now, it’s not a complicated thing to make. I hard boil some eggs ahead of time and bring them to room temp while I’m working on the rest of the recipe. I recommend 1 to 2 because it really depends on how much volume you have left after cooking the livers. So I start with one, give it a taste then add the second if I think it’s needed. You don’t want the egg to dominate but you do want the richness.
You should really plan on making this the day before you intend to serve. The flavor needs time to develop and most importantly, don’t overdo the salt and pepper the day you make it! It will be more pronounced the next day so err on the side of caution and re-season after it’s sits in the refrigerator overnight.
2 tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat) or safflower oil
1 pound chicken livers (not cow!)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1-2 hard boiled large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the chicken livers and pat them dry.
2. In a large fry or saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of either schmaltz or oil cook the livers, in batches if necessary. You don’t want to over crowd the pan. They should be cooked through with a little bit of pink left in the center. Set aside to cool in a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
3. Add additional fat to pan if needed and saute the onions in all the livery goodness until they are nicely caramelized. Add the onions to the livers and allow to cool a bit.
4. When no longer very hot, add the livers, onions and one egg to the food processor and pulse until chopped but not mushy. Season cautiously with salt and pepper. (Sorry, forgot to take a picture of this step – bad me)
5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. Taste before serving and re-season if needed.
6. Serve with crackers or matzoh.
FYI:Chopped liver is great on a sandwich with turkey and tomato, oh and the movie that started all this? Possession.