Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chopped Chicken Liver

 1 pound fresh chicken livers
 salt and freshly ground black pepper
 4 tablespoons chicken fat, goose fat, vegetable oil, or unsalted butter (more as needed)
 2 large onions, diced (about 3 cups)
 3 cloves garlic - optional
 3 hard boiled eggs - large
 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac - optional

1 medium frying pan
1  small pot with lid
1 large bowl and several small bowls
hand chopper (often called a mezzaluna or lunette)
If you prefer, you can use a food processor for this.

1. Add your choice of fat to a medium size frying pan, turn heat to medium and allow the fat to melt and heat. Add the diced onions and cook stirring often until they are caramelized brown and soft. Watch carefully so they don't burn; the process takes about 45+ minutes. This is the secret to the best tasting results - lots of rich, soft, brown caramelized onion. When onions are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl and allow to cool.

2. Place 3 large eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Put a lid on the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, turn off the heat and allow the pot to stand covered for about 25 min. Drain off hot water, rinse with cold water, peel eggs. Set eggs aside or into fridge to cool.

3. Back to the frying pan - add another tablespoon or two of fat to what's left over in the pan from the onions. Start heating the pan over medium heat. Pat the livers dry with a paper towel. Cut them in half or so if they seem large. Add the livers to the frying pan and saute until lightly brown.

4. While the liver cooks, peel a few whole garlic cloves and toss into the pan with the liver. Check after 5 min or so - the liver should be lightly brown and only slightly pink in the center. Turn off the heat and gather everything for the final assembly.

*This assumes manual assembly which is my preference. Skip to the end if you are using a processor for this.

5. Scrape the cooked livers and garlic into the large bowl. Use the hand chopper to coarsely chop the livers and garlic until it looks about how you like it. Grind some black pepper and salt over the liver.

6. Grate the eggs over the liver. Graters usually have 2 sets of holes - regular and tiny - I use the regular size, the tiny turns it into mush. Now set aside the grater and use the chopper a couple times to chop and mix the eggs into the liver.

7. Scrape all the caramelized onions into the big bowl on top of the liver and eggs. Make sure you get all the fat and tasty bits. Use a spoon to mix in the onions thoroughly. Add the brandy now if you intend to use it. Mix well and chop more if you want a finer texture.

8. TASTE! This is seriously important. You will probably need to adjust the salt & pepper. It should taste gorgeous but slightly under-salted. Mix and taste until it's exactly as you like. Please don't oversalt.

9. Pack mixture into a tupperwear type container or small bowl and cover tightly. Put into the fridge and let cool.

10 - If you are not using a food processor - you're done and ready to eat.

* If you are using a food processor -
Scrape all the cooked ingredients (liver, eggs, onions, etc) into the processor bowl. and pulse until its the consistency you prefer. Season to taste and pack into storage container.

Notes: I think this tastes best the day its made after it has a chance to cool and settle. It's also gorgeous the next day if there's any left over. Generally it will keep up to 3 days from preparation so you can make it ahead of time for parties.

Any questions, Ask!