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Real Chopped Liver

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'd like to try making some real, old fashioned, heart-stopping, artery-clogging chopped chicken liver. Anyone got some suggestions/recipes/techniques for making this classic "heart surgeon special?"

shel
post #2 of 28
The secret, of course, is in the schmaltz. So, unless you've rendered some out, you can't make the true gelt.

I've never actually measured anything. But my mom made the best chopped chicken liver in the world, and I try and replicate hers. After cooking and chopping (by hand, in a round bowl and using what I would now call a single-bladed mezzulena but just called a chopper back then) the livers she would add some fine chopped onion, that had been sauteed in chicken fat, salt, pepper, and some finely chopped hard-boiled egg. Add enough chicken fat to bind it all together.

Ummmmmmm, good!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
That's similarb to how I remember my mom making it. Who measured anything in those days <LOL>

How were the livers cooked? In the schmaltz? I'd imagine that the livers are cooked to be just a scosh pink, not too well done, right? I seem to recall that my mom would make gribenes as part of the process. Would you cook the liver in the schmaltz, remove the liver, add the onion to the fat, cook that a bit, and then do the combining?

I think we'd get the gribenes from when my mom would render the fat.

Does that sound about right.

Oh, yeah, we had a wooden bowl and a "chopper" too. I'd love to get such a bowl and chopper.

shel
post #4 of 28
Whether or not my Mom put gribenes in depended on how fast my hands were. :lol: But yeah, that was her preference.

And she pretty much made it as you describe: Pan fry the livers in the schmaltz left over from the gribenes, then the onions, etc.

I've still got the wooden bowl. But the chopper disappeared long ago, alas.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks - you've been very helpul in helping me remember. I wonder if my sister has the old wooden bowl and the chopper ...

BTW, for anyone interested ....

Chopped Liver archives

Very strange coincidence - a friend stopped by t'nite and brought over a container of "Gentile Chopped Liver" from one of the local supermarket delis. She didn't know about this thread. The liver was pureed to a horrible smooth texture in a food processor and lacked the depth provided by the schmalts and properly cooked onions.

I was over at the Zingerman's site where they posted their concept of chopped liver. The caramelize the onions. Might be interesting ....

shel

shel
post #6 of 28
The ultimate in goyasha chopped liver, Shel, isn't just that smooth paste you get in the delis. We used to know a woman who actually incorporated whipped cream into hers. No kidding!

Certain things should not be done "gourmet."
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 28
Omg, this was one of my BIG time cravings when I was preggers with my son...I would dip pirrouline cookies in the stuff!!??

Gross, right? So don't tell me that preggo cravings are all in a woman's head! lol
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #8 of 28
What KYH said!

I have my grandmother's wooden bowl and hockmesser (meat chopper), and they are among my prized possessions. I also have a small jar of schmaltz in my refrigerator as I write this.

I cook the livers in schmaltz after picking them over and washing them well (then drying them). I cook them over low heat until just done, having salted and peppered them. After I let them cool, I chop the liver somewhat finely (not into a paste :eek: ) and add finely minced onion, finely minced hard boiled egg (maybe 1/4 as much egg as liver??) and, as KYH said, enough schmaltz to bind it all. Then I taste it for seasoning and chill it.

Okay, on my trip to the store today I'm going to look for chicken livers!!! My cholesterol is in good shape (God bless Lipitor and Smart Balance), so I can allow myself some.
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post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for jumping in. Glad to know you've got that prized wooden bowl and the hockmesser. I'm jealous!

If you like Smart Balance you might also enjoy these Earth Balance products. They're probably from the same parent company. There's a link to Smart Balance on the Earth Balance site Earth Balance and Smart Balance . I've been using Earth Balance for many years, but I also use butter - no real cholesterol problems, just like the products ...

shel
post #10 of 28

chopped liver

I have the bowl and chopper!
My mom cooked the livers and onions on the gas stovetop burner in foil. The gribennes come from that & most didn;t make it into the liver cause we stole them. The schmaltz got mixed in.

If you want exact, my sister knows it... well process, amounts are a bissel of this and a bissle of that
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
I hate you! :)

Never heard of that technique.

I've come to believe that the gribenes were made primarily as a diverion for the kids, so the kids wouldn't continually pester mom while she was working in the kitchen.

What I can't figure out was if my mom bought liver just to make chopped liver, or if she had a secret stash of chicken livers somewhere. I've no memory of her making several chickens at one time, so maybe she got a bunch of liver from the butcher when she was in the mood to roast a chicken.

My mom didn't cook much, but there were some rare days when she'd be whipping up the chopped liver, salmon croquettes, roast chicken with roasted potatoes covered with the fat from the chicken, nice and crispy, and My*T*Fine chocolate pudding - mmm that My*T*Fine was mighy fine, and those 'taters were exquisite. I've never been able to duplicate them.

The poultry place I go to bakes their potatoes in the rotisserie in which they make their roast chicken, and the chicken fat drips on them. They sell the potatoes for $1.00 each, and they make a great snack or a nice take home item for dinner.

shel
post #12 of 28

chicken livers

My husbands mother did them in foil also. I read something recently about the method for cooking them kosher & direct flame, that may heve been why.

and shel, while you are hating me, our My T Fine always went was on home made mac & cheese night

and from another thread... are you really having a sandwich for T DAy?
post #13 of 28
>I've come to believe that the gribenes were made primarily as a diverion for the kids, <

I dunno, Shel. I've still got scars where the back of that wooden spoon caught me on the knuckles as I reached.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #14 of 28
My "gummie" (pronounced goom' me) used to sweat celery and onions, using care not to brown either. She also deveined the celery. We pushed the celery, onions and hard-boiled egg through her hand grinder. She used mayo as a binder, but we did use schmaltz to sweat the veggies. Umm... I'm getting a hankerin' for some liver!!

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Mom would always give us a plate of the gribenes and we'd sit at the table enjoying those wonderful treats while she went about her business uninterrupted - until it was My*T*Fine time, then we'd swarm around like buzzing bees to a sweet flower.

shel
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Did you know that My*T*Fine puddings are still available?

They can be ordered from Hometown Favorites (if you're not familiar with them, as you should be: Hometown Favorites Nostalgic, Retro & Old Time Candies & Grocery or from Jel Sert - My*T*Fine, and are available insome areas of the country in regular supermarkets.

Not sure yet what I'll be having for T-day. Thus far there are no plans for a traditional dinner, and I may have to work. I might make a turkey loaf, some chipotle-honey yams (the red ones), and one of the several cranberry recipes I have, maybe a simple veggie dish as well. Or a turkey sandwich ...

Whatever it will be, it'll be simple and straightforward.

shel
post #17 of 28
ummmm....chopped chicken liver on a corn beef sandwich on rye.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #18 of 28

A great liver recipe

My favorite liver recipe:

chicken livers
onions
sweet peppers
ham
eggs
a bit of milk
oil for sauteeing

First chop the chicken livers (or whatever kind). Set aside.

Chop the onions and peppers, sautee until they are clear. Meanwhile beat the eggs with the milk and start to make an omelette. Chop the ham. After you flip the omelette, put the onions, peppers and ham across the middle. Serve the omelette.

Discard the liver.
post #19 of 28
Question: If real chopped liver has eggs then how come you aren't supposed to have mayo on your roast beef? I mean if the mayo is just egg and oil, or am I operating under a false notion about kosher food combinations?
post #20 of 28
Bob, I don't know any reason, under the kashruth laws, that you can't have mayo on your roast beef.

The real question is: Why would you want to? :eek:

Although there are numerous kashruth laws, in two major interpretive modes, the one you are probably confused with is that meat products and dairy products are not supposed to be mixed. This stems from the biblical injunction to not steep a kid in the milk of its mother.

Because of its appearance, some people might mistakenly think that mayo is a dairy product. But, as you note, it's not.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 28
As a French Canadian from TGWN (the Great White North = Canada), this conversation made me surf to find the definition of many unfamiliar words used in this thread.

I found this:
Schmaltz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
which helped make a connection to schmaltz with confit (as in confit de canard or duck confit)
Interesting how diverse cooking techniques have similar origins....

Very interesting thread!

When I have many chicken liver (or turkey) I make liver paté:
raw:bacon, liver, onions, heavy cream, S&P. Purée in the blender then pour in ramkins and in a 325F oven until set (65C or more core temp). cool in the refrigerator.
Nice spread for crackers.

Luc H.
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #22 of 28
Just guessing, Luc, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that chicken fat has a higher melting point than duck and goose.

I know when you clean a domestic duck or goose (particularly a goose) the fat actually melts in your hand. I've never had chicken fat do that.

For an extra treat, throw a handful of pistachios in next time you make that pate'.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #23 of 28
The point I was making was that the technique of rendering, using the fat in cooking and even cooking then preserving meat with fat was similar between schmaltz making and confit.

Yes, goose and duck fat has a lower melting point then chicken mainly because they have evolved to resist cold aquatic conditions compared to a chicken that is a temperate land animal. Duck fat is high in unsaturated fatty acids which stays liquid at room and cold temps. This is similar to cold water fishes like salmon. Their fat is very liquid compared to a land animal like chicken or even beef.

The reverse is also true like seed and nut oils that grow a temperate zone have liquid fats but tropical nuts like coconut, cocoa or even palm oil are more solid.

Just an observation.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #24 of 28
Thanks for the information KYHeirloomer. Why do I put mayo on my roast beef sandwich? My wife's usual response is that I'm daft. Might explain why I like my fried chicken with ketchup.
post #25 of 28
to me a great chopped chicken liver has onions sweated but still oniony, definately not caramelized.
Shmaltz is in the fridge.
Leaf lard for rillettes is in the freezer.
butter for chicken liver pate is in both......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, there's vegetarian "chopped liver." Some recipes are made with green beans. I tried some once OY!

shel
post #27 of 28
Maybe nobody noticed that my recipe called for chopping the chicken livers and then discarding them :D I don't care for liver.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
I noticed , as I'm sure others did as well- and it was clear what your point was the first time.

shel
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