1 pound fresh chicken livers, de-veined and soaked in ice and milk for at least 2 hours. Then removed, rinsed and pat very dry.
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 teaspoons chicken fat or schmaltz
4 yellow onions, julienne
1 teaspoons picked fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cognac
Lemon zest, to taste
4 slices of rustic sourdough or country bread about ½ inch thick
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the livers with salt and black pepper.
Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat until just about smoking. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and 3 teaspoons of the schmaltz. Remove from heat and add livers.
One by one, place the livers in the hot pan in one single layer, avoid overcrowding. Sear the livers for about 30 seconds per side, until a nice crust forms. Remove from pan and set aside.
When all of the livers are browned and out of the pan, place the pan back on the heat and add the remaining schmaltz and sliced onions to the pan, then season with salt. Cook slowly over medium-low heat, constantly stirring the onions until they are very golden brown and sweet (this should take about 25 to 30 min). When the onions are almost done, add the fresh thyme and cook them into the onions.
Deglaze the pan with cognac and cook for another five minutes, until all the alcohol has cooked out. Remove the onions from the pan and place into a food processor with the chicken livers. Add the lemon zest to the food processor bowl and pulse about 5 times. The mixture should be chunky, but homogeneous. Taste for seasoning. Set this mixture aside.
Preheat your broiler (you can also use a Panini press or toasted oven). Drizzle the bread with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and then toast the slices of bread and then rub the surface of the bread with the garlic clove.
Spoon a heaping amount of chopped chicken liver and smear evenly along the whole length of the toast. The chicken liver can be served warm, room temperature or even chilled.