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It’s unclear exactly how chopped liver came to have such a strong culinary association with Eastern European Jews. Many have conjectured that since Jews were frequently impoverished, they had to be economical and ate every part of a chicken, even the less palatable portions like the liver.
I’m a chopped liver, what am I?
Have you ever heard the expression “What am I, chopped liver”? As far as we are aware, the idiom did not originate in Yiddish but rather in America. The expression is used to convey shock and astonishment when someone believes they have been forgotten and treated like a “side dish” since chopped liver was never thought of as a main entrée but rather a side dish.
Ingredients for the Chopped Liver Recipe:
3 lbs. of chicken livers*, frying oil – To taste, add salt and pepper – 2 big onions, diced
DIRECTIONS Chicken livers should be put in an oil-coated pan. Cook until the food is dry. Onions should be cooked in a different pan until they are tender and caramelized. After cooling, place the livers in a food processor and pulse until smooth but not pureed. Once onions have been added, pulse the mixture in the food processor until it reaches the desired consistency.
To prevent crushing the livers, you may alternatively use a big wooden bowl and a hand chopper rather than a food processor. While some love their chopped liver chunkier, others prefer it smoother and more like pate. To taste, add salt and pepper.
*Even from a kosher animal, raw livers are not always kosher. To learn more about kosherizing a liver by broiling it, go here.
ALTERNATIVES Instead of using oil, sauté the livers in schmaltz for a “old-world” flavor (rendered chicken fat).
Leave out the oil and broil the livers rather than sautéing them for a less oily dip.
For those who enjoy eggs: Stir in around 6 hard-boiled eggs and the onions to the mixture.
Add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, or more to taste, for a moister consistency.
Vegetarians should substitute 8 ounces of finely chopped mushrooms for 1 pound of the liver and add 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley.
You may always order chopped liver to be delivered directly to your door if you don’t have the time to prepare it yourself. provides delivery of all other classic Jewish foods, including our renowned Chopped Liver, both locally and nationally. You may also hire Sarge’s to cater any occasion or holiday, including your Passover feast.