Sunday, November 8, 2009

Butternut squash n chicken livers risotto, perfect for the fall

It's the flavors and the colors of butternut squash that make it so well-suited and comforting for the fall season.

I love squash and chicken livers, so naturally, when Michele suggested to make this risotto dish, I was ecstatic. Wolfgang Puck made a similiar recipe, Pumpkin Risotto, but without the chicken livers and king oyster mushrooms.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 bunch of king oyster mushrooms
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
About 6 cups of hot chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 butternut squash, one half baked in the oven and then pureed; the other half, peeled, cut into small dice, and Sauteed in a little oil and butter until tender
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup of fresh chicken livers
2 eggs
bread crumbs


Take the diced half of butternut squash and saute them in butter, salt and pepper in a saucepan.

Set aside. In a dutch oven, or a medium sized saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the sliced king mushrooms, cook until softened. Add arborio rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.

Add white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, prepare the chicken livers. Rinse the chicken livers ( about 5 - 6) in water. put in a small bowl and pour some white wine over it, let the livers soak for about 10 minutes. Pat the livers dry. In another small bowl, beat 2 eggs, and sprinkle in salt and pepper. Dip chicken liver in the egg, coat bread crumbs. In a pan with vegetable oil, gently fry the chicken livers. Drain on paper towl, set aside.

Going back to the risotto, pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish. Spoon, serve immediately into shallow serving bowls.

Buon Appetito!

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