Grandma Eleanor’s Chopped Liver
Eleanor Marrich was Zak H. Stern’s maternal grandmother. She used to make the chopped liver in a hand-grinder. You can use a food processor. Rendered chicken fat, or schmaltz, is made by taking the fat off the chicken and heating it until liquefied. It’s available in some supermarket frozen food sections. The hard little bits that don’t melt are called gribenes — “To die for,” says Stern’s mother, Leslie.
1/4 cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz), plus a few more tablespoons as needed
3 large onions, chopped
1 pound chicken livers
4 large eggs, hard-cooked and chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons chicken broth or hot water
Salt to taste
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of chicken fat over medium-high heat until it liquefies and starts to shimmer. Add the onions and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until onions are golden-brown and translucent and have produced a lot of liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of chicken fat over medium-high heat Add the chicken livers. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until they are cooked through and not pink inside. Do not overcook. Remove to a small bowl to cool.
In a food processor, pulse chicken livers just a few times, so they’re coarsely ground. Spoon them into a mixing bowl.
Briefly process the onions, reserving any accumulated onion broth. Mixture should be wet and coarse. Stir onions into chopped chicken liver. Mix in the chopped egg.
Stir in chicken broth or hot water a tablespoon at a time, moistening to desired consistency. You may also add another tablespoon or two of chicken fat. Season with salt to taste. Makes 2 cups, about 8 servings.
Per serving: 180 calories (60 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat (3.6 g saturated, 4.6 g monounsaturated), 294 mg cholesterol, 13 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrates, 0.7 g fiber, 82 mg sodium.