Lesson 63: Chicken Livers!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Have I mentioned how much I love Italian cuisine??? I don't want this week to end! I've eaten more this week at school than any other week and have truly enjoyed everything!

Today's recipes were from the Central Region of Italy. I immediately got to work preparing a batch of pasta dough for our group. Once that was out of the way, I made a very interesting first-course. Honestly, the two recipes I worked on today were the ones I liked the least when reviewing the recipes before class. But, I went into class today feeling very laid back and ready to attack whatever is thrown at me. I didn't request to work on any specific recipes, so I got the last two that the other group members didn't want to work on: chicken liver crostini and artichokes with peas and prosciutto (artichokes are really good, but a pain to trim!) I saw this is a fun an unique challenge. I was going to make chicken livers and make it delicious!

Not only did this crostini have livers in it, but I hated just about every other ingredient that went in it, including anchovies and capers...ugh. I began by sauteing some chopped onions. I added the livers to the pan and got a nice sear on them. Next, I added some white wine and let it reduce out. I then added tomato paste, chicken stock, finely chopped anchovies and capers, and fresh thyme. I let the mixture simmer for a while and pureed it into a smooth, pasty sauce.

The brown mixture didn't look too appealing, but I grabbed a spoon and winced while I tried a bite. It was not bad! I spread some on crostini and added sauteed mushrooms to some of them:

The mushrooms really balanced out the "liver" flavor of the crostini and I actually loved it! Don't get me wrong, I would not go grab a bowl of chicken liver puree and slurp it down, but I did enjoy 2 of these little crostini! I can now add chicken livers to the list of foods I have tried since entering culinary school!

I was able to serve my crostini right away as an antipasto. After cleaning up a bit, I got right to work on my next dish: Carciofi coi Piselli. Like I said, artichokes are a pain in the butt to trim. I'm happy I got some practice on them though just in case I have to prepare them for my final exam! After you trim artichokes it is key to get them right into some acid water so that they don't turn brown! I prepared the artichokes by sauteing them in olive oil with some onions, prosciutto, peas and chicken stock. This was a very nice side-dish!

Other dishes of the day included Triglie All'Anconetana: Red mullet marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary, then coated in breadcrumbs and wrapped with prosciutto before baked:

Tagliatelle con Ragu Bolognese: This ragu was insanely good! I also love thick cut fresh pasta. We hand cut this pasta by rolling up the sheets of pasta dough and cutting about 1/2 inch strips.

Ribollita: A hearty bean and vegetable soup served with garlic tuscan bread. YUM (A perfect rainy day dish)

Arista di Maiale con Rosemarino: A loin of pork rubbed with rosemary and garlic and roasted in the oven with white wine.

Yet another delicious day. I felt uncomfortably full on my train ride home and had really bad aches in my back.. I have to work on my posture.. or get a massage.

Ummmm more SNOW in the forecast?!?!?!?! You have GOT to be kidding me!

2 comments:

Oriana said...

hi, the authentic crostini recipe is here...if you cut by hand and not in the processor, the texture is perfect! http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/allthingstuscany/tuscanycious/crostini-the-tuscan-starter/

La Bella Cucina said...

Thanks! That's a great tip! I was wondering how it would taste without pureeing it.. I'll have to give it a try!

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