Chopped Liver

Chopped Liver

  • 1-1/4 pounds of chicken livers (about 3 cups)
  • 2 large onions, sliced (doesn’t have to be pretty since they will be ground)
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • 4-6 Tbs. schmaltz (chicken fat), or olive oil
  • salt to taste

Render the chicken fat until the gribenes are golden brown. Remove the gribenes and set them aside. Set aside the rendered chicken fat.

If you have a lot of schmalz, use a tablespoon or two to saute the onions and livers. Cook until the onion is soft and the livers are cooked through.

Grind the livers, onions, gribines and eggs. Add 4 tablespoons of schmalts– and more if you like your chopped liver a little more moist. Season with salt. Refrigerate. Serve an a appetizer with matzo, or as a matzo sandwich.

Schmaltz. It adds a distinctive, rich flavor to the chopped liver.

These tasty bits are the gribenes. My grandfather Max loved them. If you don’t eat them all, grind them in with the rest of the ingredients.

For many more passover recipes from my kitchen, please get the book Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

Passover Teiglach

Our Teiglach is served on a pretty glass plate. The family helps themselves with their fingers, pulling apart the sweet, sticky pieces.

sc0015a5d5teiglach recipe card sm

This is what I would call a well-loved recipe card.

I just made this for the first time in over 20 years. My grandmother, Mollye, in her later years, would have me come over to help make the dough and to lift the pot to pour out the hot teiglach onto the board. The weirdest step in her process is when she would go to my grandfather’s liquor cabinet, take out a bottle of bourbon, pour a little into her hands and then pat down the board. I don’t understand it—yet I do continue the tradition.

Form the dough into 1/2″ coils, then cut into 1/2″ pieces.

Boil the dough for 10 minutes to set their shape.

Pour into an oven-proof dish, and place in a 375 degree oven. Give the dough a gentle stir every few minutes. When dark, thick, and bubbly, (about 12–15 minutes) remove from oven to prepared board. 

Pour the cooked teiglach out onto a board to cool–but first pat down the board with a little whiskey!

Passover cooking weekend

For favorite Passover recipes from my kitchen, please get the book Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

This is the weekend to dive into Passover cooking. My goal is to tackle a couple of family recipes and post them here: Passover teglach and chopped liver. I’m also going to make ingberlach, matzo granola and eingie.

My mother would save up chicken livers and chicken fat throughout the year. Her freezer was dotted with tiny plastic bags, each carrying the livers and fat from two chickens–the number that she would put on the rotisserie every Friday. I know that chopped liver isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it was a regular appetizer in our family’s house and I feel compelled to document the process. It’s rare that I buy a whole chicken anymore, so this morning I’m headed out into Northern Virginia in search of chicken livers and schmaltz.

For more Passover recipes, look under “Categories” off to the right on this page.