Chicken Liver: Chopped Liver from Chompie's

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Despite what the supermarket aisle may lead you to believe, there's more to an animal than neatly wrapped styrofoam trays of meat. From tongue to tail, offal (pronounced awful) encompasses all those taboo edibles that don't make the cut at your local grocer. Just Offal is here to explore these oft-neglected byproducts of butchering, featuring different offal meals from establishments across the valley. This week: Chopped Liver served up by Chompie's.

The Ick Factor: Chopped liver bears a striking resemblance to something you may have in your cabinet right now, but probably hopefully have never tried: cat food. Not that cat food served in crystal glassware either, with succulent chunks of real meat that look way better than your tired old can of Dinty Moore. No, we're talking the menacing, mystery meat cat food that plops out of the can and retains it shape. And believe me, you want none of that.

Chopped liver is actually a ground mixture of chicken livers and a hefty amount of chicken fat, with other delectable additions thrown in to round it out, like onions, hard boiled eggs and seasonings. Consider it the Jewish deli's equivalent of pâté.

(all the juicy details after the jump)

The Offal Choice: Chopped chicken liver smeared on bagel chips, from the deli at Chompie's.

Tastes Just Like: Smooth, fatty fowl spread. Chompie's take on chopped liver lacked a distinct, meaty chicken flavor. Instead it was a savory, slightly sweet spread with a rich mouth feel courtesy of all the added fat. The flavor was delicate and well balanced, with the egg, onion, liver and spices all ground up into a harmonious paste that was a perfect complement to marbled rye bagel chips. It was surprising how muted the liver taste was. None of the coppery tang characteristic to calf liver was present, and none of the general muskiness of organ meat was detectable. The texture was still slightly grainy, similar to the powdery texture of calf liver, but it managed to avoid a mealy feeling with the addition of all those other ingredients.

If you have yet to try chopped liver, go make a Jewish grandma proud and expand your culinary horizons. The flavor and texture are delicate and more reminiscent of a pate than an intimidating plate of fried liver and onions.

You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: Chopped liver can be a bit too grainy at times, so for the love of all that is smooth and delectable, don't overcook the liver! As with any offal meat that filters blood day in and day out, the younger the critter and the fresher the cut, the better your offal dish is going to be.

Always been a DIY-er? This is your lucky day, because chicken livers can be picked up from just about any grocery store, even the fancy ones. Epicurians enjoy a good pate, too! After procuring your livers, soak them in a bowl of milk to leech out any residual funk, then whip up some chopped liver.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.