Chopped Liver with Prunes and Marsala

Here’s the thing…I have posted a chopped liver recipe before, but back then, my blog was a little bland. A little unspecific. And, probably, extremely ill edited. So, I thought it warranted a repost. After all, this most perfect union of meat, fat, and onions can’t really be posted enough, can it?
Okay, you can stop staring me down. After this year, I won’t post it any more.
Chopped Liver

2 lbs. chicken livers, rinsed in a colander until the water runs clear
4 onions, sliced
1/4 lb. chicken fat (Or 1/4 cup ready made schmaltz)
about 15 pitted prunes
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste

1) Put the chicken fat in a pan over medium low heat. You want the fat to melt very slowly, so it doesn’t burn. This is called rendering the fat and will result in crispy skin(gribenes), and liquid gold(schmaltz). If the liquid starts to turn golden brown or give off a strong aroma, turn down the heat immediately.

2) When the fat is melted (about 20 minutes), remove the gribenes and pour the onions into the pan.

 3) Turn the pan on medium high and really fry those onions. You don’t want a golden brown color, you really want a darkly caramelized and fried color. This will likely take at least 25 minutes.

Chicken skin sexy photo shot break…these would be great crumbled up over hot popcorn…okay, now back to the recipe!

When the onions look like above, take them out of the pan to drain on a paper towel, but leave the pan on the stove.

 4) Dump the chicken livers into the pan, and…

saute them until they look like this – a rather unappetizing grey. It will take around 15 minutes. You know you are done when you cut into the largest liver and the middle is just BARELY a pale pink. This isn’t the time for rosy red livers.

 5) Put the hot livers in your food processor.

 6) Add your prunes.

 7) As you start the processor, drizzle in your wine…

 and your cream.

 8) When the pate is smooth, put it in a large bowl. Add a hefty amount of salt and pepper (the liver REALLY needs a good amount of salt),

 and the onions.

 9) Now mix with a spoon and taste, taste, taste! Is it too bland? Add more salt. Too acidic? Puree up a few more prunes with some cream and add the puree to the dish. Too sweet? Time for some more Marsala. When the liver tastes good to you, wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. The flavors will really develop over this time.

 10) Serve. 
This is rich – like, Warren Buffet rich. Some people dig it on bagel chips, but I prefer mine with celery sticks and endive spears – some crisp, clean vegetable that really showcases the decadent nature of the meat. This is not overtly liver-y. It is really rather mild as far as pates go, thanks to the prunes and cream. The onions add a chewy, crunchy element and the Marsala adds a tang and depth that only alcohol can truly give(don’t worry, the heat of the liver cooks the alcohol in the processor). This is just so great. Anyone who has never had chopped liver will like this. Anyone who has ever had chopped liver will LOVE this.

And forget what I said above. I am totally going to post this recipe every year. It’s just that great.


  1. Mmmmm. Making this for sure… I've done a port and thyme version…also yummy, but I love the deep;y caramelized onions here.

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Dee – and as I recall, you have a curry and apples one that sounds kind of fab?…So nice to see your name in the comments!


  1. […] flavorful, a good match for classic, mayonnaise-based slaw. Teh chopped liver is almost as good as mine – rich, minerally, a little sweet, and filled with the pungent crunch of finely diced onions. […]

  2. […] Jewish gives me a ton of culinary advantages. I was eating liver at a young age, learned about the goodness of schmaltz on bread, and absolutely live to celebrate any holiday […]