While I understand the meaning of the phrase, “What am I, chopped liver?” I reject its assertion of the negative connotation associated with the food in question. When I am served chopped liver, it gets my full and complete attention and enjoys priority boarding when it comes to filling my stomach. At Kenny & Ziggy’s, for example, my favorite place for hepatic offal in Houston, I can easily do with a double order for dinner and don’t bother with the rye bread, thank you, I just need a fork.
I love chopped liver not only for its seasoned, gamey, slightly metallic flavor and pleasant consistency but also because every time I run or cycle after eating it, I feel like a million bucks. Gehakte leber, you are my Gatorade.
And while K&Z’s chopped liver does not cost a million bucks, eating it two or three times a week is not in my fiscal grand plan, so most often I make my own at home. With a Cuisinart, doing so is short work and extremely cheap. So cheap, in fact, that I am often tempted to make giant vats to freeze for the poultry apocalypse when chickens are extinct from Americans’ wanton consumption.
- 1 pound chicken livers (look for the tubs in the meat section in the supermarket)
- ½ cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
- 1 cup diced white onion
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Drain livers and pat dry with a paper towel. Sauté livers using 1-2 tablespoons of fat over medium heat until exterior is brown and interior shows just the slightest hint of pink. Transfer livers to large bowl.
- Using the same pan, sauté onions over medium heat using about 2 tablespoons of fat until onions are brown. Transfer to bowl with cooked livers.
- Combine onions and livers with remaining chicken fat, garlic, parsley, dill, salt and black pepper.
- Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse until barely chunky (or smoother, should you desire that consistency).
- Transfer chopped liver to serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and chill in fridge for approximately one hour.
- Eat with crackers or bread. Or just straight from the bowl.
 In a pinch, you can sub in olive oil.