What Am I?

How To Make Your Own Chopped Liver

Want to feel like a million bucks after a workout? Skip the Gatorade in favor of offal.

By Joanna O'Leary May 26, 2017

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Chopped liver never gets second billing with us.

Image: Shutterstock

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]
  • 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 


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine onions and livers with remaining chicken fat, garlic, parsley, dill, salt and black pepper.
  4. Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse until barely chunky (or smoother, should you desire that consistency).
  5. Transfer chopped liver to serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and chill in fridge for approximately one hour.
  6. Eat with crackers or bread. Or just straight from the bowl.

[1] In a pinch, you can sub in olive oil.

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