December 13, 2019
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Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Chopped Chicken Liver


My favorite thing in the whole world,
chopped chicken liver. I will tell you
this is my grandmother’s recipe, I will
also tell you it is probably the
tastiest chopped liver you will ever
have. If you want to cook like a
baller Jewish grandmother, get on this
recipe right now.
I would insist that you
go to a butcher shop and buy real chicken livers.
You could do it with a little bit of butter, if you like.
I’m going to do this just with schmaltz because I’ve
superheated my pan.
I don’t want burnt butter in there.
I’ve got some minced onion, I’m gonna add some salt,
to this. The salt pulls the water
out of the onion, and when the water
comes out of the onion, so too does the
sugar that’s in that onion juice. And we
do want these onions to caramelize.
While those are cooking, I’ve got my
hard-boiled eggs, I’ve got my box grater.
Using firm pressure and stroke, push and drag.
Push and drag, what that’s doing is
it’s putting those feathery strands of
egg into the bowl.
I also like minced parsley.
I want people to bite down on
nice pieces of Italian parsley, which
lend light, bitter sweetness to anything that it goes into.
Our onion is starting to brown.
What that means is the moisture
is out of the onion and it means it will
start to brown all over pretty quickly.
Alright, onions and the schmaltz they were cooked in.
A little more schmaltz.
I don’t want my pan to get too hot because then
you can get a bitter crust on the outside of your livers.
But I like to move them around a little bit
because as they shrink, it opens up more
space in the pan for liquid to evaporate
and for browning to take place.
You can see it’s starting to turn gray around
the edges, so we know what that means,
it might be ready to flip. I want there to
be some nice browning and caramelization.
Season them up.
Add some black pepper to my food processor.
Look at the beautiful seer we have on those livers,
they’re just firmed up enough.
They’ve been cooking for 20 minutes and because
we’ve been watching our temperature,
that fond on the bottom there is still brown,
and not bitter in the least.
And we’re gonna let them rest in the food processor
for 4-5 minutes before we puree them.
Season this dish again, we have a few tablespoons of
schmaltz in there, there’s another tablespoon and a half.
And the reason that I pulse it like that, is that I’m
not making cat food. I’m making chopped
chicken liver, I’m trying to emulate my
grandmother’s grinder. And so you can see
here that I have a paste surrounding
chunks that are the size, maybe of the
onions that I put in there to begin with.
And I dump all of that into my egg,
parsley mixture. I just want to make sure
that my egg and parsley and seasoning is all in there.
Put this in the refrigerator uncovered for about,
a half an hour to let it cool and then I cover it.
And then you can serve it. By the way, I serve
chopped chicken liver at every single
holiday. A little bit of time spent in
the fridge, oh my god. My grandmother’s
chopped chicken liver recipe.
So sinfully rich, so organy and beautiful.

Randall Smitham

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26 COMMENTS

  1. abarisol Posted on December 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Nice job. I encourage the use of the meat grinder (hand or electric) for the more authentic texture on both eggs and liver not onions. Also helps keep that handy kitchen tool from fading.

    Reply
  2. Jupe367 Posted on January 2, 2018 at 2:43 am

    I always his name is Zimmerman.

    Reply
  3. Nathan James Posted on January 18, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Mmm deliciousness

    Reply
  4. Michael Nardmann Posted on February 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Great recipe! Could be even better if you get all those tasty bits left in the pan in the mixture. I will try to deglaze with some alcohol to scrape all those bits out of the pan.

    Reply
  5. D J Posted on February 21, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to first do the chicken livers then do the onions so as they release liquid they would deglaze the pan?

    Reply
  6. ELIAKIM Joseph Sophia Posted on April 2, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    When I was in Israel I asked for chopped liver and chopped herring, they just looked at me with a blank face. I put thyme and brandy in my chicken liver pate.

    Reply
  7. imari2305 Posted on April 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Andrew I'm not Jewish but I grew up eating chopped chicken liver on matzoh crackers and I absolutely love it. My mom worked for a Jewish family as her 2nd job and some times when she didn't have a sitter would bring me along with her and one of the snacks she would give me would be this fabulous dish that she would buy from the local Jewish deli. Sigh, there's not too many left here in the Bronx unless you live near Riverdale which, I don't but thanks to your recipe I can now make this wonderful delicacy from my childhood. I also love liverwurst too lol. Thanks for sharing your grammy's recipe.

    Reply
  8. THE READ QUEEN Posted on April 22, 2018 at 12:08 am

    That is NOT cooked fully🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

    Reply
  9. Randy Cox Posted on May 1, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Iron better than the pills that constipoot..me or give me the Hershey squirts 👁

    Reply
  10. BlakeMan Posted on June 3, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Ay Papi qué rico!

    Reply
  11. BlakeMan Posted on June 3, 2018 at 3:03 am

    I would also add a stick of butter and a cup of cream.

    Reply
  12. Anita Foster Posted on June 11, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Butter would make it Treif…

    Reply
  13. Anita Foster Posted on June 13, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Thank you, Andrew…it came out perfectly. Just like Baba used to make!

    Reply
  14. kez kezooie Posted on June 18, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Chopped liver is delish!

    Reply
  15. typhoon Posted on June 22, 2018 at 1:14 am

    when i ask for schmaltz almost everyone has no idea what im talking about. my father and mother always had chicken liver pate on the high holidays..and always made with schmaltz…thank you.

    typhoon out.

    Reply
  16. jankowskip Posted on August 28, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    This is so good I would want it to be my last meal

    Reply
  17. David Hernandez Diaz Posted on November 4, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    I finally cooked it, and I love it.

    Reply
  18. David L Posted on November 9, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Thank you for your grandmother’s recipe. Now, get a food grinder attachment for your KitchenAid mixer and chop the meat as your grandmother used to do, most probably with her hand grinder. Thank god for our grandmothers.

    Reply
  19. ImNotJoshPotter Posted on November 28, 2018 at 1:09 am

    "If you want to cook like a Jewish…"
    I'm out.

    Reply
  20. Jason Leer Posted on December 4, 2018 at 3:07 am

    What's the difference between chopped liver and chicken liver paté?

    Reply
  21. Crystal Huynh Posted on December 14, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Thank you 🙏

    Reply
  22. Dennis Hunt Posted on January 6, 2019 at 5:52 am

    What is smulch?

    Reply
  23. Daughter Lord Posted on January 10, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Andrew, less work and better results grinding the livers with the boiled eggs.
    Once grind, add a bit if salt and pepper and that's it.
    BTW, it taste really good if you grind also an onion.
    Better taste over regular white bread.

    Reply
  24. Gina Elizabeth Posted on March 22, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I make mine same way, but when it cools I had a heaping teaspoon of mayo to keep it creamy n gives it added flavor don't knock it till you try it I made them last night! Mayo gives it a oomph

    Reply
  25. Area51Gregos Posted on May 21, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Egg AND chicken livers?
    You're eating two generations there!

    Reply
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