Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yes, you. I'm talking to you, Chopped Liver!

I saw Ina Garten make this on her show, Barefoot Contessa, a while back, and it was one of those recipes that intrigued me and just sort of percolated in the recesses of my brain. I watched a rerun of the same show, and this time I decided to make it. Master Chow usually likes meats with strong flavors, like lamb and venison, so I thought, "why not?" Well, this was a hit. He loves it, and when I take the lid of the container, the dogs go crazy. I took a little taste, and even I thought it was good! It tastes a lot like liverwurst.

Some thoughts: First, use organic chicken livers, which I get at my local Whole Foods. The liver is the filter of the blood, and every hormone or drug given to an animal ends up there, so you want to get as clean and pure a source as possible.

Second, if you keep kosher, have some chicken fat (schmaltz) on hand before you start. The original recipe calls for a cup of it, but I ended up using about 5 Tablespoons of clarified butter.

Third, cleaning the liver can be rather time consuming and messy.

Fourth, do not overcook the livers - they should be a pale pink inside.

Finally, this spatters a lot when you're frying the livers, so cover up and move anything out of the way that you don't want to get covered in grease.

Chopped Liver

2 pounds chicken livers
5 Tbsp. clarified butter
2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)
1/3 cup Madeira wine
4 extra-large eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, and chunked
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tspp. cayenne pepper

Drain the livers and saute them in 2 batches in 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat, turning once, for about 5 minutes, or until just barely pink inside. Don't overcook the livers or they will be dry. Transfer them to a large bowl.

In the same pan, saute the onions in 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Add the Madeira and deglaze the pan, scraping the sides, for about 15 seconds. Pour into the bowl with the livers.

Add the eggs, parsley, thyme, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Toss quickly to combine. Transfer half the mixture to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 to 8 times, until coarsely chopped. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Season, to taste, and chill. Serve on crackers or matzo.


Blogger rowena said...

I used to make chopped liver, liver pate, liver mousse often. How much we love the stuff! Tha is, until husband's doc said to cut out the meat - a lot - and so I just sneak a bit into the once-a-month ragu with pasta. I love it on thick slices of bruschetta with a drizzle of olive oil. Man that just makes me hungry thinking about it. :-)

November 21, 2007 6:40 AM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

That sounds wonderful! Master Chow and the pups just loved this stuff! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2007 2:04 PM  

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