Monday, November 1, 2010

a take on ragu using assorted chicken components

On Iron Chef, once, they had a suckling pig battle and someone made a ragu with pig hearts, liver and whatever else. They threw in a bit of minced up shoulder, too. This struck me, at the time and no less now, as an excellent idea. Sadly, I never got around to it. Acquiring fresh pig offal means a trip to the magical wonderland that is Springvale. There are a lot of butcher shops that sell pig offal (and offal in general). A couple of them even manage not to smell really bad.

I'm not working with pig offal, though. Not today. Today I'm working with chicken offal, which is easier to acquire.

The ragu shall, aside from the choice of meat, be, mostly, made Adrian Richardson's way.

First off, you want to fry some (well, 100g-ish) diced bacon and (50g-ish) hot salami (a combination, I guess, that's a bit like the poor student's pancetta) until crispy. In the fat, quickly brown the following: 200 g chicken leg fillets (diced or minced, could use the more expensive thighs instead), 350 g chicken hearts (diced) and 350 g chicken giblets (diced). Remove the meat from the pan. Add some more grease, if you need to, and throw in a couple of onions (diced), a carrot (diced) and a lengthy length of celery (also diced). Fry until soft and then add as much minced garlic as seems appropriate. Give that a couple of minutes and then add some tomato passata and the reserved meat. Simmer for a hour or so until the tomato sauce has reduced and thickened and shifted from a mass produced product into something awesome. At this point, you coul quickly fry up a couple of hundred grams of chicken livers, roughly chop them and stir them into the sauce. Serve atop a suitable pasta.

Too, a thought, if you have some assorted chicken bits kicking around--necks, wing tips, whatever--you could brown them, heavily, in the pan (or roast them for a while) and then add them to the sauce. Remove them before serving the sauce, of course, but sitting in that tomatoey goodness for a hour, they'll contribute a bit of flavour.

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