I was not at home during Christmas and while I assisted in the cooking of meals during those days, I did not have the opportunity to prepare a festive meal. But on New Year’s eve we were at home, alone, and I could prepare a meal for two. Just a one course dinner, after the calorie boost of previous days.
One ingredient had been waiting in the refrigerator for some time. The last time we were in the Lot region we had bought some duck liver at Mémé du Quercy near Cahors. I had also bought dried ceps there that could go well with risotto. We were late at the market and I could not find the quail I had wanted but bought two legs of Guinea fowl instead. We also had endives.
I started by deboning the legs. With a short and sharp knife I first removed the tibia bone by cutting the meat from the bone and then scraping down. The knuckle was tricky as there were several ligaments that needed to be cut but with the knife and a pair of scissors I proceeded taking out the bone. Then I needed to remove the femur. First I scraped the meat down the bone, then I cut off the far end of the bone, where the foot had been, and could push the bone up through the meat and remove it. You have to return the meat as you do with a removed sock.
Inside the two meat packages, in sausage form, I put some of the duck liver and sprinkled some Espelette pepper. And then I tied them up with string.
Then I cleaned and halved the endives, put them in a buttered oven dish, put some butter on top and cooked it ion an oven at 200 °C for an hour. After half an hour I added more butter and towards the end I put some sugar on top.
The risotto needed 20 minutes and close attention as otherwise the rice can stick to the pan and burn. I used the ceps and the soaking water, some saffron and poultry stock. First I fried some chopped shallots in butter, then I added the rice and cooked it for a little while before adding a glass of white wine. While stirring, I later added the saffron and water, the ceps soaking water and I ladled the stock until the rice was cooked (the chewing test is the best). Then I added the remaining duck liver and stirred until it had melted and then I added some grated cheese and the chopped ceps.