Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Preparation Techniques - Preparing Chicken Livers

After washing and drying the chicken livers, follow the simple steps outlined below or click here to watch a video of Chef Steve Manfredi as he demonstrates how to prepare chicken livers for cooking:

1. Remove gristle and fat from livers.

2. Cut livers into bite-sized pieces.

3. Coat with cornflour.

Quick Risotto

This is rather a cheats Italian risotto as it defies all the rules that insist the stock is added gradually. Instead, the rice is cooked quickly in a conventional way, and the other ingredients are simply thrown in at the last minute. It tastes good for all that. Recipe serves 3-4.


1 1/2 cups risotto rice
1 3/4 pints (1 litre) simmering chicken stock
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 ounces (75 g) cooked ham, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. Put the rice in a pan. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for about 18-20 minutes until the rice is tender.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the Mozzarella cheese, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, ham and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Cover the pan and stand for 2-3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt, then stir again. Pile into warmed serving bowls and serve immediately, with extra Parmesan cheese.

Two Cheese Risotto

This undeniably rich and creamy Italian risotto is just the thing to serve on cold winter evenings when everyone needs warming up. Recipe serves 3-4.


1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 pints (1 litre) simmering vegetable or chicken stock
3/4 cup Fontina cheese, cubed
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the olive oil with half the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring all the time, until the grains are coated in fat and have become slightly translucent around the edges.
2. Stir in the wine. Cook, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed, then add a ladleful of hot stock. Stir until the stock has been absorbed, then add the remaining stock in the same way, waiting for each quantity of stock to be absorbed before adding more.
3. When the rice is half-cooked, stir in the Fontina cheese, and continue cooking and adding stock. Keep stirring the rice all the time.
4. When the risotto is creamy and the grains are tender but still have a bit of "bite", stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese. Season, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.