The Zimmern Family's Chopped Chicken Liver


Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen AdventuresI developed a passion for eating and learned all about the joy that comes from cooking from my parents and Elizabeth Wakabayashi, the mother of one of my best friends. But the reason I was receptive to their ideas was because, when I was four, five and six, I would spend hours upon hours on a small stool in my Jewish grandmother’s kitchen on weekends, watching her cook for a small army. She always had enough food for twice as many people as required, cooked everything in schmaltz (chicken fat), laid out trays of bread rounds topped with butter and anchovies as hors d’oeuvres and, in general, kicked ass all over the kitchen. I loved watching her cook. For the next few weeks, I'll share some great holiday treats for everyone looking to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is a great time to share food with friends and family, and I have received dozens of emails asking for recipes, so here you go. The Zimmern family has been making chopped liver for a century; it’s just that Bubbe used to grind it. My grandmother made this to-die-for dish for every holiday.—Andrew ZimmernPlus: F&W’s Hanukkah Recipes Guide

The Zimmern Family’s Chopped Chicken Liver
Photo: © Stephanie Meyer
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
8 to 10 servings


  • 2 large eggs

  • Ice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) (See Note)

  • 1 onion (finely chopped)

  • 2 pounds chicken livers (trimmed)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • Matzo (for serving)


  1. In a small saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil; cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and immediately fill the pan with cold water. Add ice and let the eggs stand until chilled. Drain the eggs, peel and coarsely chop.

  2. In a very large skillet, melt the butter in 1/4 cup of the chicken fat. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Season the livers with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until barely pink inside, about 8 minutes.

  3. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and let cool slightly. Add the chopped eggs and pulse until the livers are finely chopped but not completely smooth. Add the parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken fat and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Transfer the chicken liver to a bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes. Serve with the matzo.

Make Ahead

The chopped liver can be refrigerated overnight.


Rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) is available in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets.

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