My favorite part of the Passover meal every year is the chopped liver. I know that it’s not a favorite of many, but I love this savory spread with a passion. It could be that it reminds me of the pates of my native France. It could be because my mother always fried up the chicken livers just for me whenever she roasted a chicken. Or it could just be that chopped liver is good, really, crave-inducing good. I have no shame, happily taking a third or even a fourth helping every year.
When we lived in New Jersey, I always bought my chopped liver from Artie’s Deli on the Upper West Side. After much sampling from Zabar’s and other Upper West Side institutions, Artie’s came out as the clear winner with it’s soft texture and lack of bitter aftertaste.
This year, when my Google searches for “Jewish delis in Columbus selling chopped liver” came up empty, I decided to make my own. I was amazed at how easy it was! I took the basic recipe found online and spiced it up to my liking. Some recipes called for sauteing the livers in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) but I’m a Frenchie so I used duck fat instead. Any fat will do, including vegetable oil or butter. Good Jewish food is not good diet food, and this is no exception.
Call us sacrilegious, but Steve and I officially declared my chopped liver recipe as good as Artie’s.
1 pound of chicken livers
1 medium yellow onion, chopped coarsely
3 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of fruity white wine such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 cup of raisins
3 tablespoons of duck fat
- Hard boil the eggs. Peel them. Set aside.
- Remove the chicken livers from the package. Inspect them and remove any glaring nerves or other yucky bits.
- Heat a large frying pan on high. Add the duck fat (or other fat including butter or vegetable oil) and melt. Add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the balsamic vinegar and saute for another minute to incorporate well.
- Add the chicken livers. Saute for a good ten minutes, until the livers are no longer pink in the middle.
- Pour in the wine, scraping up all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Continue sauteing until the wine is mostly evaporated.
- In a food processor, pulse together the eggs and sauteed chicken livers until they form a rough mousse. Then add the raisins and pulse a few more times. You want the chunks of raisins to still be visible.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well together.
- Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before serving.