Friday, February 4, 2011

Risotto ai Fegatelli - Rice with Chicken Liver

We bought a whole organic chicken and I was determined on the idea of using the whole animal. First of all because it is so expensive that throwing even some of it away would be a huge waste, secondly I am against wasting food in general, especially animals that died to become our food, not to end in the garbage. The recipe is very simple and quick and even my picky american husband liked it. The flavor is much more delicate than you would expect, not too strong at all. For a good rice it would have been better to have at least 2 livers, but every chicken only comes with one, so not much we can do about it. I did eat the heart and the kidneys too ( those were a little too much for my husband though). I had had heart before in Brazil, where they are commonly grilled among other meets in the churrascarias ( Brazilian steakhouses). The heart is a muscle, so it really just tastes like a red meat, and except from the shape that is clearly that of a heart there is nothing about it that reminds of entrails. The kidneys instead are really chewy and hard. Maybe if you slice them very thin they are edible, but they have a very distinct flavor and texture. The livers instead go beautifully in the sauce, making it a rich and flavorful tomato sauce, with a meaty aftertaste.It is important to notice that while liver is a very good food from a nutritional standpoint, slightly high in cholesterol but particularly rich in iron, vitamin A and C, it is not recommended eating it from a non organic chicken. The reason is that the liver acts as a filter for the blood and that is where all the heavy metals, the antibiotics and other chemicals will accumulate the most. The same applies to any kind of liver.  I took the recipe from an Italian website and here is my English version.


  • 1 Chicken liver
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice
  • Parmesan Cheese


  1. Dice the onion and cut the chicken liver in small pieces
  2. In a medium pan fry the onion in some olive oil until it is yellow and soft
  3. Add the bay leaf and the liver to it and quickly brown it while stirring it
  4. Add the tomato sauce ( careful not too add too much) and let simmer for about 15 minutes
  5. In the meantime cook the rice as instructed on the package. If you can, use chicken broth instead of water
  6. Once the rice is done, add it to the sauce and stir in the Parmesan cheese

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