Eating Nose to Tail


Feeling a little homesick for my Omi, and therefore the perfect thing for lunch is chopped liver.  The dish is basically a mash up of chicken livers, onions, bacon and hard boiled eggs made into something like a paste and then eaten on toast.  It's way better than it sounds.

Growing up, Omi made lots of dishes with chicken livers, and this is one of my favorites that my Mum also makes really well.  All  of our recipes are a little different and yet I still think of this as my Omi's recipe.  Funny how recipes can change over generations and yet can still be thought of as the 'authentic' recipe.  Makes me wonder how original the Colonel's fried chicken recipe actually is.

Questions for another time.

You need 5 chicken livers, 4 slices of bacon, half an onion, and two eggs.  And salt and pepper to taste.

Before you do anything else put an egg or two in a pot and cover with cold water, bring to a boil cover and turn off the heat.  Let it sit there until you need your hard boiled eggs.

The two first ingredients are bacon and chicken livers.  Start by washing your chicken livers to remove the excess blood, and clean them of fat and other bits that look like they don't belong.  Then set aside the livers and fry the bacon.
When it starts to look like this and lots of the precious fat has rendered out take the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Pour off some of the fat, or not.  Whatever is to your taste.  I poured off about half, but I had some fatty bacon.  Chop half an onion and add it to the pan with the bacon fat and cook until soft and just a little brown.  Then add the chicken livers.  I like to keep the liver and onions separate so that I can remove the onions when they get to just the right spot, but still get a little of the liver juice mixed in with them.
Cook the chicken livers about 5-6 minutes over medium high heat flipping once.  Unlike the dirty rice recipe where I cooked them to just pink, I'm cooking them a little farther because they are not going to get cooked anymore.

Once cooked, take them out of the pan and when they're cool enough to handle roughly chop and then put all the livers in an appropriate sized container so that you can use an immersion blender to give them a smoother texture, you want it a little smooth and a little chunky.
If you don't have an immersion blender use a knife to chop them and then use a wooden spoon the mash them to a texture you like.

Season with salt and pepper add the bacon (which should be chopped at some point) the fried onions and then peel and chop the hard boiled eggs.  I boiled two but only ended up using one.
At this point you've got your chopped up liver, fried onion, crumbled bacon and chopped egg in a bowl.  Things should be looking more and more like lunch at this point.  A lot of people do not fold the chopped egg in, but put it on top.  I like it folded in, but up to you. 
Fold together, taste and season again.  I ended up adding a drop of cider vinegar to cut a little of the liveriness.  If you do this make sure that you don't end up tasting the vinegar, you just want it to balance out other flavours, not be a major player in your mouth.

Once it taste's lovely put it in the fridge for a few hours so that the dish can mellow.  Once you can't wait any more make some toast, and maybe a citrusy parsley salad. 
This makes an awesome late afternoon snack or even lunch on a hot summer day.  You can also put this chopped liver in a picnic basket with a cold bottle of riesling.  Perfect for a day in the park.


05/31/2009 07:56

YUM! This sounds absolutely heavenly and we shall have it for supper tonight. Thanks! This is real food, and the riesling will make it just perfect.

05/31/2009 18:49

I'd love to hear about how it turns out, and if you have any additions or suggestions about the recipe.

Thanks for such kind words. :)

03/11/2014 02:11

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