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Shared by Miri and Yoav Polachek

Chopped Liver With Caramelized Onions

Yield: 10 to 15 servingsTime: About 1 h and 40 min

Chopped Liver With Caramelized Onions

Yield: 10 to 15 servingsTime: About 1 h and 40 min

Family Journey

Transylvania, RomaniaNetanya, IsraelLexington, Massachusetts
Tel AvivNew York CityTel Aviv

This recipe was shared by Miri and Yoav Polachek. Read more about their family in " A Stuffed Cabbage Five Generations Strong" and try their recipes for Romanian eggplant salad, and sarmale (Romanian stuffed cabbage).

Both Miri and Yoav were raised eating chopped liver, but decided to share a rendition from Yoav’s family that’s rich and roughly chopped. It comes from Yoav’s mother Ziva, who was born in Poland and survived World War II as a toddler with her mother who escaped from a ghetto near Krakow east to Russia. The family ultimately made their way to Palestine just before the founding of the modern state of Israel. When Yoav went to college to study music in the United States, Ziva prepared a notebook of her recipes for him so that he could make them when he was overseas and missing home. Included in the mix, was her chopped liver.


For the marinated liver

  • 2 pounds chicken liver, room temperature
  • ¼ cup red wine or sake
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the pan

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large light green peppers, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the food processor

  • 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

For the topping

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped


  • Step 1

    Marinate the liver: In a medium bowl place the chicken livers, drizzle with sake or wine and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mix, and let stand for 10 more minutes. Strain the livers from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

  • Step 2

    Heat a large skillet on high heat. Once the pan is hot add the oil and then the livers. Saute the livers until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the livers and add the onions and peppers into the pan, cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine, salt and pepper into the pan and continue cooking, stirring once in a while, until the livers are cooked but still slightly pink inside, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for one hour.

  • Step 3

    Prepare the chopped liver: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked mixture from the pan to the food processor, avoid placing any pan liquids into the blender. Add the apple, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Pulse the blender about 20 times, until mixed and sliced into a chunky mixture. Taste to check the seasoning, adjust accordingly. 

  • Step 4

    Transfer the chopped liver into a serving bowl, or line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and press the chopped liver into the pan and cover with more plastic wrap. Chill the chopped liver in the refrigerator.

  • Step 5

    Make the topping: In a medium pan heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil and add the chopped onion. Saute over medium to low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes until deeply caramelized. Set aside.

  • Step 6

    To serve: Remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the loaf pan. Place a flat plate over the loaf pan and invert the chopped liver onto the plate using both hands. Dispose the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the caramelized onion over the chopped liver. Serve cold or at room temperature with bread.

Make ahead:

- The chopped liver can be made in advance and kept for up to 2 days in the fridge.

- The caramelized onions can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use, and up to 1 week.