This is a meal I make when I need comfort food. It’s not an authentic Italian-style risotto as it uses Basmati rice and the aim is not to produce the creamy nursery food dish that is the mark of a real risotto. So if that bothers you, call it “Rice and Chicken Livers”. If you use frozen ready chopped garlic and blitz the onion in the blender, it can be produced within 40 minutes on a weeknight while listening to The Archers on BBC Radio 4. Adjust proportions of rice to chicken livers as you like; just keep the ratio of rice to stock 1 to 1.
400g fresh chicken livers (preferably free range), cleaned of any green-looking bits and chopped in half
1 large mug full of basmati rice (definitely not ordinary long grain rice)
1 fat garlic clove, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
200 dry cure smoked bacon lardons
2 large mugs of hot chicken or duck stock
1 Bay leaf
Small handful each of finely chopped fresh sage and oregano/marjoram or whatever herbs you fancy (tarragon works well too)
Small handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
Half glass of white wine or dry sherry
Freshly ground black pepper
1 glug of olive oil or a dollop of goose fat
A shake or two of Barbados hot pepper sauce or Tabasco.
In a suitably-sized heavy-based pan that that has a tight fitting lid: Gently fry the bacon, onion and garlic in the olive oil/goose fat until beginning to turn golden. Throw in the livers, give them a stir, then put in the rice. Stir again so the rice is coated with oil, then add the bay leaf, herbs, pepper sauce/Tabasco, wine/sherry and a generous grind of black pepper. Stir, then add the stock. Stir again and reduce to the lowest heat you can, cover tightly with the lid, then wait until the rice has softened and absorbed all the stock. If it threatens to dry out, add a little more stock or wine. It should take no more than 15 minutes. Check seasoning, adding salt if necessary and stir in the parsley. Serve in a bowl to your grateful spouse first then scoff the rest yourself.