This post includes recipes for both Chopped Chicken Livers and Mock “Chicken Livers.” Mock “Chicken Livers” is a vegetarian concoction with taste and texture remarkably similar to the real McCoy.
Sadly, old fashioned chopped chicken livers have fallen out of fashion and lost their place at our tables. Passover is the ideal time to rekindle your guests’ relationship with this traditional flavor. Easy to make ahead, chicken livers are the answer to what can I serve as a Passover hors d’oeuvres. As with most foods, do not serve cold from the refrigerator. Rather remove from refrigerator at least an hour before serving. You can dress up chicken livers with a little chopped fresh parsley on top.
Chopped Chicken Livers
Delicious any time, Passover provides an excellent reason to make and serve chopped chicken livers. They are simple to make and a treat that has fallen out of favor so people rarely get to enjoy them. For Passover, serve with Matzo. Otherwise, any sturdy cracker or crostini. For a wonderful sandwich, chopped chicken liver on fresh rye bread with a lots of sliced onion.
Do ahead Livers may be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated. As with most foods, it is best not to serve chicken livers too cold. Remove from refrigerator at least an hour before serving.
1 pound chicken livers
2 cups medium chopped onion
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered chicken fat,* divided
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground preferred
1 Trim away from livers and and discard any membrane and bits of green bile duct from livers. Place paper towels on cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet. Place chicken livers on towels and place additional paper on top to absorb moisture.
2 Heat 3 tablespoons oil in medium sauté pan over moderate heat until hot. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently until deeply browned but take care not to burn. Lower heat as needed if onions are cooking too quickly and burning. Remove onions and set aside to cool.
3 Wipe out pan with paper towel. Add 3 tabblespoons oil and heat until hot. You will cook the chicken livers in two batches so that they can cook without being crowded. If too crowded they will steam rather than sauté. Cook on one side about 2 minutes and turn and cook on other side. You want livers that are nicely browned on the outside but still pink in the inside. Remove livers to cool. Repeat with second batch of livers adding additional oil, as needed.
4 Once livers are cool, chop coarsely with a knife. You want to maintain some texture so do not place in food processor. Transfer chopped livers to mixing bowl. Add onions, chopped egg, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill.
Yield 3 cups
*Rendered chicken fat, aka schamltz may be made by cooking chicken fat and skin over low heat until fat melts and skin renders its fat. Remove skin and use in place of oil.
I liked the recipe we developed for Mock “Chicken Livers” so much that it made it all the way to the final cut of hors d’oeuvres recipes in At Home. But At Home is alive. By that, I mean it is unlike just publishing a book and distributing it impersonally through bookstores and it ends there. With this At Home blog and At Home Online, At Home’s recipe library can grow over time. I can have an ongoing relationship with you and the At Home community.
Mock “Chicken Livers”
Mock “chicken livers” look and taste remarkably like genuine chicken livers though, of course, they are vegetarian. If using for Passover, serve with matzo. Otherwise, any cracker or crostini will do.
Do Ahead May be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated.
2 cups onions, medium dice – about 3/4 pound
1/2 cup medium diced celery
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 cups sliced domestic mushrooms – about 4 ounces
1/4 cup water
1/2 cups string beans, blanched and diced – about 4 ounces
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
2 hard boiled eggs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, optional
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 Toast walnuts on rimmed baking sheet in 350 degree oven until they begin to darken. Remove and cool. Pulse in food processor until finely ground. Set aside.
2 In medium sauté pan over moderate heat, combine onions, celery and garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil until mixture is golden and lightly caramelized. Frequently stir or toss mixture to ensure uniform coloring. This could take 30-40 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
3 In same pan, sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate until dark. Remove mushrooms from pan. Add water and deglaze pan by scraping any remnants from sauté of onion mix and mushrooms. Reserve water.
4 Combine in food processor onion-garlic-celery mix, mushrooms, deglazing water, string beans, chopped walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, thyme, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
Yield 1 pint
Note: This can be made richer by substituting butter for oil.