Friday, November 19, 2010

Chopped Chicken Livers

Liver is a love-it or hate-it food. I happen to love it.

When my mother made chopped chicken livers, she sometimes chopped them by hand, and sometimes she used her blender. The hand-chopped version was obviously chunkier, but how chunky depended on how much frustration she needed to unleash. The blender version was silky smooth. I liked both.

When I was dating my now-husband, we used to go to a restaurant that served appetizers in the bar area for customers who were waiting for tables. There were vegetable sticks and dip, a giant cheeseball and crackers .. and chopped chicken livers, cocktail rye bread, and chopped onion for garnish.

There were times when we got to the restaurant and there was no wait, but we'd duck into the bar for those chicken livers anyway. They were that good.

Now, when I make chicken livers, I use the food processor to chop them. The result is smoother (and easier) than hand chopping, but it has more texture than when mom used her blender.

The local grocery store sells chicken livers in pint containers, and they weigh about a pound. That's a lot of livers. When I buy chicken, I usually buy it whole and I might use just the one liver to make a little bit of chopped chicken liver for a little snack, but if I'm working with that little bit it tends to be a lot more simple.

If you don't have poultry seasoning, sage works well.

Chopped Chicken Livers

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint (about 1 pound) chicken livers
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, to taste
splash of brandy (optional)
1 hard boiled egg, quartered

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the livers. Cook, turning as needed, until they are cooked through. Remove to a bowl. Put the onions in the skilled and cook until they are soft and lightly browned. Add the salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, to taste. If you don't have poultry seasoning, a little bit of sage will do just as well.

Take the pan off the heat, add the splash of brandy, and put it back on the heat to cook off.

Put the livers, onion, and egg in the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until it is the texture you want. Remove it from the food processor and chill before serving.

Serve with rye bread (or crackers, if you prefer) and diced onion.