John Pleshette’s Chicken Giblet Confit Risotto

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Actor and foodie John Pleshette shares with us his weekly recipes.  This week it’s an adventurous Chicken Giblet Confit Risotto.

Chicken Giblet Confit Risotto

Chicken Giblet Confit Risotto

4 chicken livers and giblets (hearts and gizzards)
Fresh thyme
2 cups of chicken or duck fat
1 brown onion
1 1/2  cups of arborio rice
1 tsp of saffron
Dry white wine
6 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
Flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper the giblets, tuck a couple of sprigs of thyme in with them in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 250F. Melt 2 cups of fat and allow to cool enough to the touch. Wipe salt and pepper from the giblets with paper towels. Place in a small, heavy casserole.  Pour in fat to cover.  (if necessary,  add more fat or vegetable oil.)  Cover with a lid and place in the oven.

Bake for an hour.  Turn off the oven and leave till the oven has cooled.

Mince the onion.  Melt 2 tbsps of butter and a splash of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Add the onions and stir over a low flame until they are translucent. Add 1 1/2 cups of rice.  Stir for a minute.  Pour in 1 cup of white wine.  Keep stirring until the wine is absorbed.

Meanwhile, bring chicken stock to a simmer on top of the stove. Using a mortar and pestle, grind saffron threads with a pinch of course salt.   Pour a cup of the hot stock into the mortar and stir with the pestle to dissolve the saffron. Add saffron broth and another cup of stock to the rice.  Simmer on a low flame for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the liquid is absorbed, add more stock, a ladlefull at a time, until the rice is al dente.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in 2 tbps of butter, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese and ½ of stock to keep the risotto moist while you cook the livers and the confit.

In a saute pan, heat about 1/3 cup of the fat from the confit.  Dry the livers in paper towels.  Salt and pepper.  When the fat is very hot, toss in the livers.  Remove the giblets from the fat with a slotted spoon and add to the pan. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, until the livers and giblets are crisp and brown.

Ladle the risotto onto a warm platter.  Arrange the livers and giblet confit on top.  Garnish with italian parsley.  Serve extra paremesan on the side.

Serves 4

Cellarwise wine pairing

Barolo and barbaresco, the great nebbiolo-based wines of italy’s piedmont come from its central hills, the langhe district.  Many of the region’s producers make a less-classic blend of traditional (and some not) red varieties called langhe rosso. The two i’ve chosen are true to the region, blends of nebbiolo, dolcetto and barbera. Both selections show dark berry and rustic dried-herb edge,  but the ’07 g.d. vajra langhe rosso ($13) is the more rustic and herbal while the ’08 ruggeri corsini langhe rosso “matot” ($11) has a rounder, riper profile.   Moving west into france, the graphite, black pepper and dusty berry ’07 chateau camplazens syrah vin de pays d’oc ($10) will love the gaminess of the giblets.  The ’08

M. Chapoutier cotes du roussillon villages “bila-haut” ($11) is also a classic rhone but with more red berry brightness due to grenache and carignan in the blend.  Enjoy.