Chopped liver, provided it’s well made, shouldn’t be treated as… chopped liver.
We always confess our love for all things liver as a sort of illicit guilty pleasure. We grew up eating it quite often, enjoyed it in moderate amounts without any remorse and without getting lectured. My Pate de Campagne and my Moroccan Chicken, Liver and Lamb Meatballs are guaranteed to endear liver to you.
Chopped liver is a seriously fabulous treat, so, no problem going beyond the corny Jewish old-world bias it seems inseparable from. And, I ask you, who cares, if it’s good chopped liver? Hey by the way, when you make this, let me know if this Moroccan girl can whip up a mean chopped liver!
As delicious as it is, liver is quite perishable:
Especially chopped liver. If you follow these simple rules, you will always end up with delicious chopped liver, and never settle for their commercial counterparts.
– Broil your own livers. Pre-broiled livers get bitter, and often err on the overdone side, probably to freeze them better (they don’t)
– Remember that broiled livers and by extension, chopped liver, don’t freeze well.
No matter how hard I try, frozen and thawed chopped liver tastes objectionable and develops that “off” color. No thanks!
– Solution: In light of the above: Broil your own livers, eat up your chopped liver in the next three days, and enjoy it!
Buying livers ready broiled:
Lately I have spotted, and used with great luck, vacuum-packed and beautifully packaged broiled livers. If you do buy them ready, buy them only packaged this way.
I use mayonnaise very sparingly as a rule, but I insist on using it here: It lightens up the color of the finished dish, and binds all together; do not use a drop more mayonnaise than necessarily to make it all come together. I use low fat mayonnaise.
Now that we had this little talk, scroll down for a lighter take on chopped liver.
- 2 pounds chicken livers, absolutely fresh (OK to buy frozen as long as they are raw, and let them thaw)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (if you are lucky enough to have duck fat on hand, use it, alone or in combination with the olive oil)
- 2 large onions, sliced thin (use a food processor)
- good pinch nutmeg
- 2 good pinches ground bay leaf (bay leaf powder is easy to get)
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise, low fat OK, just enough to make it come together
Broil the livers on both sides, until just tender (do not overcook or they get bitter), and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the onions. Fry the onions on a medium flame, stirring occasionally, until dark (do not neglect this step: Dark fried onions add a key layer of flavor here). While the onions are still hot, stir in the nutmeg and bay leaf powder and let the mixture heat 1-2 more minutes, so the spices release maximum flavor. Set aside>
Place the livers, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl, and mash with a hand masher until finely chopped (don't let it get mushy). Stir in the onion mixture and the mayonnaise, and combine thoroughly. Store refrigerated in glass jars. Enjoy it all in the next three days.
Makes about 1 1/2 pints
Chopped Liver Light:
Chopped liver has an intense and distinctive flavor that it can easily withstand a half-and-half combo with tofu without any loss of texture or flavor. This is the way I make it all the time, and I always watch it disappear with great pleasure.
Use 1 pound broiled chicken livers, and 1 pound extra firm tofu, thoroughly drained. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.