Chopped Chicken Liver Sans Gobs of Butter or Fat
- oakjoan Jul 15, 2006 10:29 PM
There was a great recipe in the NYTimes last Wednesday for sauteed green beans served with toast and chicken liver mousse. The recipe called for more than a POUND OF BUTTER for 1 lb. of livers.
I have a few livers and was thinking of making the recipe tonight to serve with some fresh carrot soup. I've never made chopped chicken livers or mousse with not much fat and I don't know if there's a substitute for it or what.
If I can't get an idea or think of one myself I may just sautee them with some onions and chop them up roughly to serve on top of the toasts.
Growing up I used to make a chicken liver spread out of one of the Silver Palate books, it was yummy. I can't find the recipe, but from the best of my memory I think you sauteed some onion or shallot, seasoned that, added some herb of choice, marjoram would be good, a little tomato paste and tiny bit of fresh garlic, maybe a few capers, then cooked that a little before adding your livers. Once they changed color almost all the way through, you hit it with a little Cognac, cook it out a bit and transfer it to a food processor to roughly chop. It wasn't perfectly smooth, but was spreadable. Everyone always loved it, and aside from the olive oil used in the beginning, not so fatty.
Here's my recipe for chopped chicken livers. It is low fat (albeit as low fat as organ meats can be).
Broil the chicken livers until slightly burnt (you can also buy them broiled at most kosher butchers. In the meantime saute chopped onions in cooking spray until caramelized, and boil 4 hard cooked eggs.
In the food processor make a past of the onions, 4 hard cooked whites and 2 hard cooked yolks (ie use the other two yolks for something else), and a tablespoon or two of Hellman's light mayo, salt and pepper. It should have the consistency of egg salad with onions.Then process the egg mixture with the liver. Do not overprocess; keep it chunky.
My grandmother put avocado in her chopped liver to get it creamier without so much fat. Of course, avocado has fat too, but it has got to be less than mayonnaise. The color gets a bit greenish, but then, the color of chopped liver is not exciting anyway.
I always get raves for chopped liver the way my mom made it. Slice and really caramelize - almost blacken - 1 large onion in olive oil, saute 1 lb. chicken livers until just done, still slightly pink inside. In a food processor, pulse these ingredients, including pan juices from liver with 2 hard boiled eggs and l large raw onion. Stop processing when chopped liver is somewhat chunky, not a paste. S & P to tase. You don't need to add any other fat, mayo, etc. as long as chicken livers are not overcooked.
My way is pretty much like this, except I chop everything in the family heirloom, my grandmothers wooden bowl and chop with her huchmesser (small mezza luna). I use either a little chicken fat or nya fat (a substitute for chicken fat) to obtain the right consistency. Chicken livers are already loaded with cholesteral, so go with Julia's advice on eating mashed potatoes. She advises to go the full monte on butter and cream, but only eat it once or twice a year. It is important not to overcook the livers. My mother and now I place the livers on brown paper, sprinkle with kosher salt ( a hang over from koshering, I think) and broil--brush off the salt before proceeding with the chopping. I pile the chopped liver in the middle of a plate, and garnish with sliced raddishes and some chopped egg. Keep refrigerated until serving.