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Chopped Chicken Liver

Anyone have a good recipe? Also, most recipies seem to say to boil the livers, can I saute them instead?

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  1. I've only sauteed them. Warning, though, a skunk in a rendering plant probably smells better. I can't offer a recipe since I don't use 'em, but saute chopped onion and cleaned (whole) liver in butter, breaking up the liver with a wooden spoon as it sautes. Saute until pink is gone.

    Chop. Strain to remove any membrane. (This is chopped chicken liver, so not a fine strainer).

    Add mayo, salt, pepper, several chopped hard-boiled eggs.

    I never watched a relative make it, and don't follow a recipe, but by eyeballing it it always seems to come out right.

    1. If you have chicken fat - it's even better than butter for sauteeing. And, I wouldn't add mayo either. I personally don't like it with eggs, but I know many people who do (my mother, for instance, but then again, she also added hard boiled eggs to tuna salad yech).

      1. My egg version:
        olive oil or better yet rendered chicken fat
        1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
        1 lb chicken livers, cleaned and trimmed
        1/3 cup white wine
        3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
        salt and pepper
        Saute the onion with some oil or fat until soften and well brown. Season with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat, add more oil or fat and saute the livers until they turn pink. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook to evaporate the alcohol and cook the livers to your doneness. I like them still pink in the center. Remove and chopped the liver and fold in the chopped eggs. You can chop the cooked livers and eggs by pulsing them in a food processor. Don't skim on the fat and seasoning.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PBSF

          My version is very similar except that I don't add wine but that sounds like a great idea. Also, I hand chop everything in a woodedn bowl once it is cooked. This is the extent of my family tradition. My mom chopped in a wooden bowl and I do the same. I add lots of seasoning, salt, garlic powder, paparika. I really enjoy it but now I feel it is probably to fattening to eat. Definitely don't skim on the fat....

        2. Stupid question: is "chopped liver" made with chicken liver?

          I had some for the first time at Hanukkah last year and have to admit I thought it was revolting, despite usually enjoying chicken liver pate.

          It was very dry, bordering on chalky, and was seasoned so heavily that it was nearly gritty--is that how it's supposed to be?

          Apologies for hijacking this thread :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Olivia

            Sounds like you got some really bad liver. It should never be dry, and definitely shouldn't be gritty. I saute in schmaltz with chopped onions and chopped celery, some sea salt and wjite pepper and a little nutmeg, flamed with cognac as they near done. I like the centers still a little pink. then run the whole thing through a grinder on the coarse blade and then I serve with wedges of hard boiled eggs and black forest rye bread points. Mmm. I'll have to make some this weekend. Fortunately I don't have a physical for a few months.

            1. re: chazzerking

              That's a perfect recipe. I like to add some butter to the schmaltz and mix in the chopped eggs with the livers. All of that gets topped with some crunchy gribenes (crackling). It's absolutely terrific and the only reason I keep chicken fat and skins in my freezer.

          2. duck liver is better, in my opinion. I always saute,& i only add enuf mayo to make the mixture stick together - don't chop too fine - asd already mentioned.
            my secret ingredient?/ a squeeze or 2 of fresh lemon juice.

            1. This is almost as my mother and grandmother made it. I leave out the grebin (cracklings) as I don't render that much chicken fat (schmaltz). Clean the livers and cut away greenish spots and membranes. Wet brown paper and place livers on it and cover livers with Kosher salt. Broil to degree of doness you prefer. I like it still pink inside. Brush off the salt and chop by hand in a wooden bowl with a mezzaluna (single)Add a small amount of schmaltz to make it stick together (and taste soo good) and salt and pepper to taste. I go easy on the salt and heavy on the pepper. Optional additions are chopped egg (I just sprinkle the egg on top) and onions sauted until soft in chicken fat. Serve with matzah or challah or both. Of course, no kosher kitchen would use butter and quite honestly schmaltz tastes better in this dish. Kosher is the reason for the salt and broiling. A kosher cook would cook the livers until there was no blood, but they used more schmaltz which prevents dryness. Olivia, if the chopped liver you tasted was dry and chalky someone was trying to cut the cholestrol, but for gosh sakes it's chicken livers--the fat in that alone could send to to emergency. I am of the Julia Child school. Make it right and eat it once a year if you are worried. It should be made with chicken livers of course, but I seem to recall there were some that used calves liver (really awful when overcooked)

              1. My favorite version is from The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook. It calls for both chicken liver and beef liver, plenty of onions, hard-boiled eggs, and schmaltz. It doesn't get much better. It helps if you do it by hand or use the meat grinder attachment of a stand mixer. The food processor produces a puree more akin to pate. The uneven texture is integral to really fine chopped liver.

                4 Replies
                1. re: rockycat

                  I've eaten my share of 2nd Ave. Deli chopped liver and I have to say I prefer chopped liver when it's made with only chicken liver. The beef liver is drier and adds a sort of nyangy taste (the only way I can describe it - sorry) that I don't enjoy. Go all chicken if you possibly can.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    Not if you cook the calves liver to pink in the center as you would with the chicken liver...no livery taste i have found...also in addition to the braised onions, save a 1/4 cup of raw onions to add at the end, thereby getting a different texture and fresh onion hit every couple of bites!

                  2. re: rockycat


                    A tip to avoid the mealy texture of using the Food Processor: Process the egg/onion/schmaltz/salt/pepper mixture separately. Process the chicken livers for a few pulses so the chunkiness is maintained. Gently fold in the egg mixture. You can use the food pro to do the latter step, but only a few pulses.

                    I know it is an oxymoron, but I use Hellman's light mayo instead of schmaltz (I am sure the latter is better) and I use 2 parts egg whites to 1 part yolks, to cut down the fat as we eat it much more often than once a year. I only use broiled chicken livers (kosher factor as noted above) and they aren't dry. In fact, I try to get some "burnt" pieces form the butcher which imparts a really nice smokiness. My husband loves stuffing it inside of celery sticks.

                    1. re: sherry f

                      Thanks for the tip, but I actually have a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid that I only use for chopped liver. I use the coarse blade and love the texture I get. I've made traditional French pate in the past and for that I love the food processor.

                  3. For years I made the chopped chicken liver recipe in the Gourmet Cookbook; I think it's the first recipe in it. As I remember, chicken livers, boiled or sauateed, butter, salt, mace, nutmeg, white pepper, I think that's it but you can look it up. Just cook the livers and whiz them up in a food processor or even a blender, put in a crock, and let cool. Not low-cal, but what the hey? My grandmother used to add hard boiled eggs but I think that makes it too bland. If I have the recipe right, this was the best I ever tasted on rye bread or even rye toast.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: EclecticEater

                      My family recipe:

                      1 pound of chicken livers, washed, trimmed
                      2 medium onions, sliced
                      2-3 hard-boiled eggs
                      salt & pepper to taste
                      1-2 onions, diced (for topping)

                      Sautee chicken livers till brown, then cool on paper towel on plate. Sautee two sliced onions, keeping with oil when removing from pan.

                      Using a food processor, use the grater only (if you use the steel knife, the liver will come out looking like Alpo!), alternating liver, onions and eggs.

                      Transfer to bowl, mixing it up really well, then add salt and pepper.

                      Cook diced onions to serve on top of the liver.

                      One comment: I noticed some people use mayonnaise. If you add hard-boiled eggs and onions (with the oil) to the liver, the consistency will be creamy, and therefore no mayo necessary.

                      1. re: blondie001

                        Forgot to add to above post:

                        I burn a lemon-scented candle (on the stove) while cooking, as it really helps kill the liver/onion smell!

                        1. re: blondie001

                          A shout out here for the kosher prep - I always split and broil my livers before adding them to the sauteed onions and then pouring wine in to steam them. You could use brandy as well. I use a little marjoram as well. Schmaltz - chicken fat - is definitely a plus.

                        2. re: blondie001

                          I use the recipe in Joan Nathan's book attributed to 'Bookie.' I chop the sauteed ingredients in a tall sided sauce pan using an inexpensive dough cutter. Thus I don't have to concerned about overprocessing.

                          Now if it wasn't for my cholesterol problem, I'd make it more often than twice a year.

                      2. For a great twist follow the recipes below and then add pistachios and dried cranberries it is delicious!!!

                        1. DON'T boil...definitely saute, in chicken fat along with some sweet onions (it's nice with a bit of buerre noisette in there too). You can use a food processor, but a grinder gives better texture. Some salt and pepper, and that's it! Please don't leave out the chopped hard boiled eggs..it's essential to this treat. I've found that a shot of cognac is nice in there too. On a Ritz cracker, it's heaven.

                          1. I used lots of onions (as much onion as liver---it cooks down), sauteed till very, very brown. Chop egg separately (cuisinart). Chop liver separately. Quickly pulse onions once (separately). Mix it all together by hand with some schmaltz or butter. Adjust salt and pepper. I don't like it when it's pureed, like I find in most delis. Serve it with broken up matzoh.