This Chopped Liver Is Light And Fluffy!
This is a recipe for the most delicious chopped liver you will ever eat in your life. My mother, Shirley Fried, got this recipe from my Aunt Florence. My mother made this recipe once a year, on Thanksgiving. I think Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday growing up. Besides my parents, my brother Kenny, and I, we always had my father’s family over, which consisted of his twin brother, my Uncle Larry, my Aunt Florence, and their three children, Karen, David, and Debbie. Everyone, and I mean everyone looked forward to that meal. And that meal was the same every single year. Here is the menu: for hor d’oeuvres we had my mother’s homemade chopped liver with party rye, Cohen’s little hot dogs in blankets, Cohen’s miniature potato puffs, Cohen’s miniature egg rolls, and Sacramento tomato juice. For the main course we had roast turkey (Empire) with stuffing (my Grandma Rose’s recipe), brisket (my mother’s recipe), salad, cranberry jello mold, candied sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes from around the turkey, and French string beans with glazed baby carrots. For dessert we had my mother’s homemade apple pies (she baked 2) with vanilla ice cream, and sliced chocolate pound cake or chocolate chip squares.
Everyone loved knowing that the menu would always be exactly the same. There was something reassuring about that. My aunt, uncle, and cousins loved the food, and so did my parents, Kenny and I. What stands out in my memory is how my cousin Debbie, who was the youngest of my three cousins, really overstuffed herself. She would start yawning at the table, then she’d start to laugh out loud herself because she knew she had eaten too much, she’d say something like, “Debba, what have you done!”, and then she’d have to get up and move over to the couch, where she would sweetly doze off. I am laughing out loud right now as I picture the expression on her face as she realized how full she was. Those were the days. There were none better. How I wish I could go back and relive them. What a wonderful family I had!
Anyway, when my mother made the chopped liver, it was quite a ritual. I can still see her in my mind as she prepared the recipe. First, she boiled the eggs. Then she chopped up some onions and fried them in her Farberware frying pan in corn oil. When they were nicely browned, she transferred them to a bowl. In the same frying pan, she put the Empire Kosher chicken livers. She’d cut them in half to make sure there was no blood left. When they were done, she’d transfer them into the bowl with the onions. Then my mother and I would go down to the basement where the meat grinder was. She’d attach the meat grinder to a special table that was adequate to do the job. Then she’d put some eggs in the top of the grinder, some onions, and some liver. She would turn the big crank. It was amazing to me how these items went in whole, and came out like little snakes. When she was all done, we’d go back up to the kitchen where my mother would begin lightly mashing the ingredients together in a bowl. She’d pour the oil left in the frying pan into the mixture. She would add some salt and pepper. Then my mother and I would start the fun part, tasting it. My mother would ask me if I thought we needed a little more oil, a little more salt, or pepper. She kept re-seasoning until the chopped liver was perfect. And it was perfect, and every bit of the preparation was worthwhile. Oh, did I love that treat. And so did my father, and my mother (my brother Kenny hated chopped liver).
I have started to make this recipe again. It’s pretty easy, because I have the grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. When I make it, I actually fry the livers and onions in the same frying pan my mother used (she handed it down to me). I use that pan because it brings back such wonderful memories. I usually make the chopped liver for holidays like Passover. I make it now mostly for my mother, who still loves it so much. She likes to take the leftovers home. She loves making herself a sandwich on rye with a little mustard. I just wish that my father could be eating it, too.
See further below for latest version!**
- 8 oz. Empire frozen chicken livers, defrosted in the refrigerator
- 2 very large or 4 medium- large onions
- 8 jumbo or 9 extra large eggs
- kosher salt
- corn oil
Defrost the box of Empire frozen chicken livers in the refrigerator. Start cooking your hard boiled eggs. Place my eggs in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water up to a boil, and then simmer the eggs for 20 minutes. Then run the pot under cold water, and then peel the eggs. Set them aside. Peel and medium dice the onions. Put about 1/2 cup of corn oil in a heavy frying pan. Then fry the onions over medium heat. Season the onions with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper as you’re frying them. Fry them until they are nicely browned but not burned. Take the onions out and put them in a bowl, set aside. Now, place the defrosted chicken livers in the same frying pan, and saute them over a medium flame, turning them as necessary. Cut them to make sure they are cooked through. Take them out one at time, and put them in a small bowl; set aside.
Use the grinder attachment of your mixer. Put a nice large bowl under the grinder to catch everything. Put an egg in, some onions, and some liver. Run the machine. Then continue with an egg, some onions, and some liver until you have used everything up. Pour the leftover oil from frying right in the bowl. Add some more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and start to gently mash the ingredients together with a fork, as if you were making egg salad. If you think the mixture is too dry, add one or two teaspoons more of oil. Taste frequently, and adjust for seasoning. Refrigerate in serving bowl or in a plastic container.
Note: I like to make this either the same day I am serving it, or only 1 day in advance.
**Latest version Passover 2014 (This made 2 1/2 qts.) and it was all eaten except of 1 pint.
- about 19 oz. chicken livers (I use Bell and Evans now as I can’t find the Empire)
- 24 extra large eggs
- about 2-3 lbs. fried onions
- salt and pepper
- extra oil as needed