This is a most popular appetizer in Jewish cooking and can be found in almost every deli. But it’s very easy to make at home. The secret is to brown the onions thoroughly and to season the chopped liver well. My mother and I use oil for sautéing the onions but you can substitute chicken fat if you like.
At some delis beef liver is used, but in my family we always make it with chicken liver. The liver is broiled, not sautéed, because broiling is necessary to remove the blood to make it kosher, instead of simply salting, as with other meats.
Some people prefer their chopped liver to be chunky rather than smooth, and so they either chop the mixture with a knife or grind it in a meat grinder. If you like it smooth, simply use a food processor.
Serve the liver with any bread or cracker you like. Traditional choices are rye bread, challah, or, on Passover, matzo.
- 1 pound chicken livers
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 large hard boiled eggs, coarsely grated
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Lettuce leaves and tomato slices for serving (optional)
1. Preheat broiler with rack about 3 inches from heat source. Rinse livers and pat dry on paper towels; cut off any green spots. Put livers on foil-lined broiler rack and sprinkle with kosher salt. Broil 3 minutes or until livers brown lightly on top. Turn them over, sprinkle second side with salt, and broil 3 to 4 more minutes or until cooked through and color is no longer pink; check by cutting with a sharp knife. Discard juices from foil. Cool livers slightly.
2. Heat oil in large, heavy skillet. Add onions and sauté over medium-low heat, stirring often, about 15 minutes or until tender and well browned.
3. Chop the liver in a food processor. Add onions and chop with brief pulses until blended in. Transfer to a bowl and lightly mix in eggs. Season well with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Serve cold, in scoops on lettuce leaves and garnished with tomato slices, if using.
Nutritional information is based on 1/6 teaspoon salt per serving.