An easy recipe for chopped liver that does not contain chicken fat. It's not as refined as chicken liver mousse - but it's delicious!
I might be in the minority here, but I love chicken livers. I like fried chicken livers topped with caramelized onions. And I also like them chopped or made into a mousse.
Chopped liver is, I suppose, the Jewish version of chicken liver mousse. It’s simpler, heartier, less refined, and just as important (for observant Jewish people), it's kosher because it doesn't contain butter or cream.
I like both! I do appreciate the delicate texture and flavor of the mousse. But I also love the more pronounced, bolder flavor of this tasty recipe.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this flavorful appetizer. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh chicken livers: I get them at the meat counter at Whole Foods. I believe they are widely available in U.S. supermarkets as well.
Hard-boiled eggs: These need to be hard-boiled, not medium-boiled. So if you follow this recipe for how to make hard-boiled eggs, leave them in the hot water for 12 minutes.
Extra-virgin olive oil: I love cooking with it. But if you worry about its relatively low smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Onion: Chop it finely. This is a very important ingredient - it's responsible for the dish's bold flavor.
Minced garlic: It's best to use fresh minced garlic, though sometimes I use garlic powder instead.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
How to make chopped liver
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Cook the onions and garlic in olive oil. Transfer to your food processor along with the eggs.
Add more oil to the skillet and fry the livers. Don't overcook them!
Transfer the skillet's contents, including the oil, to the food processor.
Add the salt and pepper and pulse Just until smooth.
Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
My recipe is a bit different than traditional recipes
I make this recipe without chicken fat (schmaltz in Yiddish). Instead, I use olive oil, and the results are amazing.
I'm sure grandma would be horrified... but it truly is very tasty. The olive oil also keeps the dish softer when refrigerated.
I also like to add garlic, another departure from tradition. But I have yet to find a meat dish that isn't enhanced by just a little garlic!
How long can it stay in the fridge?
Chopped liver tastes best after it had a chance to rest in the fridge, covered, for a few hours, allowing the flavors to meld. But it doesn't keep long in the fridge.
Plan to make it the day you serve it, a few hours ahead, and then finish it within a day or two. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
You can also freeze it, although it will lose some of its creaminess. After defrosting, try mixing in a little more olive oil, and mix it well so that it becomes fluffier.
What do you eat with chopped liver?
It's wonderful on toast or on Matzoh for Passover. For the low carb crowd, it's really good on a toasted low carb English muffin or on almond flour crackers. I often serve it with crudites and use the fresh-cut vegetables to scoop it out.
This dish is traditionally served as an appetizer on Jewish holidays. My grandma used to make it for Rosh HaShanah and for Passover.
But I just make it whenever I'm in the mood, and I often serve it as our main course, alongside some quick pickles, stuffed olives, and crudites.
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- 1 lb. chicken livers
- 3 large hard-boiled eggs, halved
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not table salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the chicken livers on paper towels to drain. Place the eggs in your food processor bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and fry until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a few more seconds, just until no longer raw. Using a spatula, transfer the skillet contents, including any remaining oil, to the food processor.
- Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add the chicken livers and fry over medium heat until brown on the outside but still pink on the inside, 2-3 minutes per side. Don’t overcook, or the livers will become dry.
- Again, use the spatula to transfer the skillet contents, including the livers, the oil and any tasty bits left on the bottom of the skillet, to the food processor. Add the salt and pepper. Pulse just until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping once to scrape the sides with a spatula.
- Transfer the chopped liver to a serving dish. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least two hours, allowing flavors to meld. Don’t eat chopped liver when still warm! It needs time to develop its deep, earthy flavor.