Friday, July 25, 2008
Chopped Chicken Livers
1 dozen eggs
1 lb. chicken fat
celery and onions--diced
5 lbs chicken liver
Boil eggs until hard boiled. Sautee diced celery and onions in 1/2 of the chicken fat. Place chicken livers in a pot, cover with water and boil 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Skim off debris on top of water. Let the liver cool, chop the liver. Peel and chop the eggs. Combine eggs, celery and onion mixture, chopped liver and the rest of the chicken fat until they are a smooth paste. Add salt to taste.
-- Samuel Friedman, 1923-1990
Kahn's Deli was a magical place of beautiful food, wonderful aromas and lots of love. Everything was delicious but one of the best things in the store was Dad's home made Chopped Chicken Liver. One thing that made his chicken liver so good was that he always used real chicken fat, or "smaltz." He would purchase the smaltz from the same supermarket down the street where he got the livers. He prepared everything fresh. Dad was an artist with food. One time he molded the chicken liver into the shape of a pineapple and topped it with real pineapple leaves.
I have many fond memories of Kahn's Deli. When visiting the store, I would always head to the back of the building, where I would find the enormous pickle barrel in the walk-in refrigerator. Dad was a master at slicing lox and smoked salmon. It is a true skill to be able to make long thin slices of fish, and he had perfected this skill. Long sides of salmon were always on display and were used to make the most wonderful bagels with salmon and cream cheese. Smoked sturgeon and white fish were other delicacies that were part of the daily fare. Crispy Kaiser rolls, seeded and plain rye bread and bagels were delivered to the front door before 7:00 a.m. every day. By noon, most had been sold to eager customers.
Dad was hardworking and spent long hours developing his business and servicing his customers. Mom would be there helping too. Lunch time was especially busy and Dad could use the extra help. The store was a treasure trove for an undergraduate with little money in need of basic sustenance. -- Stephen Barry Friedman