As my friends and relatives get older, I am pulled to collect and protect the traditions that were handed down to us for generations before. My grandmother loved chopped liver. Her mother made it often, and it was a staple in their diet. As a kid, my grandmother always had it around, but I never saw her make it. Honestly, I think she cheated and bought it at the Jewish deli, along with her pickled herring (another favorite). My mother didn’t like it, so she never made it. I love it. It’s also really inexpensive to make. You can either save and freeze the livers each time you buy a chicken until you have enough – or you can buy them in the supermarket. I think my local market had 1lb containers for $1 each.
My friend Rich makes the best chopped liver I have ever eaten in my life. It’s amazing. His recipe was handed down from his mother, and likely her family before, for generations and generations.
This is my adaptation of Rich’s family recipe (I changed some things out of necessity, and some for flavor preference).
Soak the chicken livers in the buttermilk for an hour, then rinse and dry well with paper towels.
Sweat the onion and garlic in the chicken fat and olive oil on low heat so they don’t take on any color – season them with salt and pepper. When the onions become translucent, add the livers to the pan and sauté on low heat. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and let it evaporate. Then add the stock – just enough to come up the sides of the livers without covering them. My friend Rich then puts them in the oven, covered. I braised them on the stovetop but covering the pan with a tight-fitting lid and lowering the heat. When the liquid thickens to almost a jam-like consistency, take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs, peel and cool them. You can also either toast your breadcrumbs or get your crackers ready.
When both the chicken livers and the eggs are cool, grind them on the coarse setting of the meat grinder. If, like me, you couldn’t remember where you put the grinder – or just don’t have one – you can pulse (very carefully) in the food processor. However, you don’t want paste – so be really careful if using this method.
The result – pure deliciousness.
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I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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