Chris Cosentino explores underrated and underutilized off cuts in Offal Good.
This risotto is inspired by a classic Torino dish called finanziera, which translates to “the financiers.” Using all the best parts of the bird, it was made for the money guys who came to market. It’s a true testament to how many flavors and textures can come from one bird. This serves several people, but of course if you want to be like the finanziera, you can be greedy and hog it all yourself.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken bones and feet on a sheet tray and roast until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a nonreactive pot. Roast the vegetables on the same pan as the bones; when golden, after about 15 minutes, add them to the pot. Cover with 15 quarts of water and add the aromatics. Bring to a boil, skim the scum, and simmer for 6 hours, partially covered. Add water as necessary if the level drops too low. Let cool, strain, and chill.
- In a nonreactive heatproof container, combine the hearts and gizzards and season with salt, black pepper, and the curing salt. Toss with the thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems, and garlic, and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the giblets (gizzards and hearts) from the refrigerator and let them come to room temp. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Warm the duck fat on the stove until hot but not very hot, and reserve a little for crisping croutons and sautéing livers. Pour the rest of the fat over the hearts and gizzards with all the herbs and garlic.
- Place the giblets and duck fat in the oven. Cook until tender, about 2 hours. When they are done, remove the giblets from the fat and keep warm.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add some of the reserved duck fat and sauté the croutons until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt. Set aside.
- In a separate pot, combine the red wine, 1 cup of water, and a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Crack in the duck eggs, one at a time, and turn the heat to the lowest setting, making sure to poach them soft, about 4 minutes.
- Pat the liver dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add the remaining reserved duck fat, and when the fat is very hot, sauté the liver, flipping once, until medium rare, about 3 minutes total.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put on a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Blanch each piece of skin for a few seconds, just enough to firm up the skin and make it somewhat translucent. Drain and pat the skin pieces very dry with paper towels. Spread the skins out nice and flat in a single layer on a Silpator parchment-lined sheet tray, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skins with another Silpat or parchment paper, then place another sheet tray on top. Bake until crispy. Each skin crisps differently, and the ones at the edges of the pan may finish first, so watch the pan, rotate it, and expect anywhere from 5 minutes up until they’re done, sometimes as much as 50 minutes. Let them cool, break them into shards if you want, and store in an airtight container for a couple days, but they’re better the sooner you use them.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Pick 2 tablespoons of leaves from the thyme and reserve them for finishing the dish. Season the thighs with salt and black pepper. Place them in an ovenproof pan with the lemon peel, garlic cloves, the remaining thyme stems, and 1 bay leaf, and cover with hot chicken stock. Place in the oven until just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let the thighs cool in the liquid, then remove them and pull the meat into bite-size pieces. (Save the liquid to braise the cockscombs.) This liquid will then be used to make the risotto.
- Warm the reserved chicken stock in a saucepan on the stove and keep hot. In a 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice, and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and remaining bay leaf to the rice, and cook until nearly dry. Add a 4- to 6-ounce ladle of stock, and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more, until the rice is tender and creamy yet a little al dente, using about 6 cups of liquid and cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Just before adding the last bit of stock, add the confit chicken bits, cockscombs, and pulled thigh meat.
- At the same time, heat a medium sauté pan until very hot, pat the chicken livers dry, and season them with salt and pepper. Film the pan with olive oil, and sear the livers until browned and medium rare, about 1½ minutes per side.
- Take the risotto off the heat, and stir in the egg yolks until well mixed and thickened. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Top with the reserved thyme and crispy chicken skin.
Reprinted from Offal Good. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Cosentino. Photography copyright © 2017 by Michael Harlan Turkell. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.