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I want to make proper "chopped liver". What is the best hand chopper to use?

Full tummy Oct 21, 2009 09:42 AM

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions...

  1. jnk Dec 22, 2011 05:08 AM

    I use a food processor and pulse it to get the proper texture (according to my family) but my mom used to use a cast iron and steel hand chopper like this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STAINLESS-STE...

    You can still buy them for about $5.00 in some supermarkets.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jnk
      s
      skytop Dec 22, 2011 05:28 AM

      Wooden bowl and my grandmothers double bladed chopper works perfectly for me. With hand chopping you get exactly the texture you want. Food processor delivers perfect uniformity but I prefer some variability... The key is finding someone's grandmother's chopper.

      1. re: skytop
        m
        magiesmom Dec 22, 2011 05:33 AM

        I often see them in junk stores.

        1. re: skytop
          jnk Dec 22, 2011 07:37 AM

          It's in my drawer now, but my mom's wooden bowl cracked a few years ago.

      2. m
        magiesmom Dec 21, 2011 06:31 PM

        I used to chop with a curved blade but one year my shoulder didn't allow that and I used FP, pulsing. I have never turned back.

        1. Midlife Oct 21, 2009 04:59 PM

          We still have my mother-in-law's wooden bowl and single-blade mezzaluna chopper that was her mother's before her. Must be 75 years old or more. My wife insists on using it for chopped liver. Says it's too much of a tradition to try any other way. Arthritis will stop her one day, but 'til then it's cool.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Midlife
            d
            DomesticGoddessCO Dec 21, 2011 11:44 AM

            Amen to that. My mom has a wooden bowl and single blade chopper too. I swear by it.

          2. sbp Oct 21, 2009 04:15 PM

            I've used both a potato ricer and even an everyday strainer to make chopped livers. The ricer is pretty easy, the strainer is a bit more work (just force the liver through the strainer with a spatula). It gives a semi-smooth texture, and you don't get that mushy teture that you can get with a food processor.

            1. j
              Joebob Oct 21, 2009 04:08 PM

              Being a fallen Jew, I even have used bacon fat to good effect, but my rather Jewish grandmother taught me to "chop" by mashing with an old-fashoned fork, a large one with wide spaces between the tines.

              1. o
                ozhead Oct 21, 2009 01:44 PM

                No matter how you chop it, though, the secret to "proper chopped liver" is to use schmaltz, and enough of it. If there is a source for schmaltz, I don't know what it is -- but it's easy to make it yourself, and well worth the time and (minimal) effort it takes.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ozhead
                  c
                  classylady Oct 21, 2009 02:06 PM

                  Schmaltz is rendered fat from chicken fat. The skin of the chicken is also fried and is called griben to be added and ground when making chopped liver.

                  1. re: classylady
                    t
                    tzurriz Oct 21, 2009 02:21 PM

                    or if you want to be really bad, just eat the grivenes as a treat for the chef. Hey, it's only a few times a year . . . ;)

                    1. re: tzurriz
                      Full tummy Oct 21, 2009 02:34 PM

                      Well, I have a bunch of turkey fat (it being mere days after Canadian Thanksgiving). That would probably give a different flavour... The recipe I have, from a friend who learned it from her now-deceased mother-in-law doesn't call for schmaltz. Will have to see how it turns out...

                      1. re: Full tummy
                        bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2009 02:56 PM

                        Schmaltz is schmaltz and turkey fat is not. I've seen recipes using vegetable oil as well, but never tried that. Let us know what you used and how it turned out.

                2. The Professor Oct 21, 2009 12:58 PM

                  My mom used to get great texture using a hand cranked meat grinder with a medium grinder plate; I use the grinder attachment on my KitchenAid and it gives just the right slighly coarse texture that good chopped liver should have (I grind everything together...the sauteed liver , onion, and hard boiled eggs.
                  I've used a food processor on occasion, but it's very easy to over-process and wind up with too fine a texture (like much store bought chopped liver).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: The Professor
                    Full tummy Oct 21, 2009 01:19 PM

                    I guess that's what I should do, then. Thanks!

                    1. re: Full tummy
                      greygarious Dec 21, 2011 01:37 PM

                      Just pulse the whole shebang - including the schmaltz, onion, and eggs. Pulsing is the key, so you can see how small the grind is getting.

                      The schmaltz is essential - but you don't HAVE to render chicken fat and skin from scratch. If you make chicken soup or chicken stock from scratch, chill it, then remove the solidified fat and use that. It is very close to real schmaltz, even has the onion flavor. It's just not as browned.

                  2. ChefJune Oct 21, 2009 12:57 PM

                    I use the food processor, but it takes practice to get the texture just right.

                    If you have the grinder attachment for your KitchenAid mixer, that would be the easiest. That's how my mom always made it.

                    Grandma used the wooden bowl with the curved knife. These days, I keep apples or gourds in it. ;)

                    1. t
                      tzurriz Oct 21, 2009 12:48 PM

                      My grandmother used a huge wooden bowl with a curved knife, like a mezzaluna with only one blade, or an Alaskan Ulu.

                      That is, she used that until she bought a food processor. Now it is my responsibility to make chopped liver for the family, and I swear by my food processor.

                      1. bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2009 12:32 PM

                        Wow, I've made a lot of chopped liver in my day but never considered hand chopping it. Is it a coarser texture you're after? Use a grinder, that's the old-school style. Chill the cooked chicken livers first. If you use a food processor, just don't over-process it. Are you adding onions and hard boiled eggs? Send them through the grinder, too.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                          Full tummy Oct 21, 2009 01:17 PM

                          I have a grinder attachment for my food processor. Is that what you recommend?

                          1. re: Full tummy
                            bushwickgirl Oct 21, 2009 01:18 PM

                            Yes, it's great you have one. Use that. Enjoy.

                        2. monavano Oct 21, 2009 11:42 AM

                          That's a lot of chopping! Do you own a food processor?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: monavano
                            Full tummy Oct 21, 2009 01:18 PM

                            Yes, but I have read that the food processor yields a different texture than the hand-chopped method.

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