16 July 2009

Risotto With Chicken Livers and Goats Cheese

Risotto is one of those things I can never be bothered to order in a restaurant. Not only are the portions usually too small, but its too labour intensive and time consuming to make it fresh for every customer in most places, resulting in a reheated gloopy mess arriving at your table. With the fridge lumbered with both chicken livers and goats cheese, stumbling across this recipe was something of a godsend. It's from a London chef called Stefano Cavallini:

It's a classic simple risotto recipe with a final twist. I'll run through it quickly: I started by softening onion in butter, then stirring in the arborio rice to coat in butter and toast slightly. Next came around a glass of white wine, which you have to completely reduce without stirring the rice. Now comes a ladle good quality homemade chicken stock one at a time making sure it is always slightly runny.

Simultaneously I browned off chicken livers, removed them from the pan. De-glazed with madeira wine, then reduced it down. Next came a tiny bit of reduced chicken stock and finished it with butter to make a sauce.

Finally I kept adding stock to the risotto till the rice was just cooked with a runny sauce (I don't think it was quite runny enough, but having run out of chicken stock I was loathe to add too much water), then took it off the heat. Next I added goats cheese, parmesan cheese and more butter and stirred it in. The result was an especially creamy risotto, almost rice pudding like. I cut the chicken livers across horizontally and plated up, pouring the slightly too think sauce over the top:

Having complained about risotto portions in restaurants, I think I went a little too far the other way. I hadn't banked on it being quite so rich. Two types of cheese, plenty of butter, and creamy chicken livers is quite heavy apparently. Apart from my stomach deceiving me, and a few minor errors (should've defrosted more stock and reduced the sauce down further), this was a pretty good success. My currently swine flu ridden mother approved anyway - although maybe partially due to her fever and current lack of taste. Well, at least I enjoyed it, and one to repeat I reckon. In fact it's a very inexpensive meal, none of goats cheese, rice or livers are too pricey. The real barrier to the dish is good quality stock, but fortunately for me I have about 3 litres of great French Laundry chicken stock sitting in my freezer.

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