Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dirty Rice

I have two more posts related to my Mardi Gras meal. You've heard about the gumbo, chicken étouffée and red beans and rice. You know the cocktail was a traditional hurricane and the appetizer was cheese straws. I have to tell you about the dirty rice and the desserts don't I? I know you want to know.

I hadn't had dirty rice in years. My favorite fast food restaurant version used pork sausage, so I had to let it go when I gave up red meat and pork. Who knew it would taste good using only chicken? Thank you, Williams-Sonoma.

This dish is so inexpensive and feeds a crowd. It's made with chicken livers and gizzards. Now, I am opposed to organ meats. They have such a gross factor for me. I haven't had liver of any kind since Mama stopped forcing me to eat it. I didn't figure out what a gizzard was until my 30s and I haven't eaten one since! I decided to put my fear aside for Mardi Gras. Besides, after two hurricanes, I wouldn't care what I was eating.

In a large pot, sauté the trinity (celery, bell pepper and onion) and garlic. Remember to give the trinity a head start. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne. Grind the livers and gizzards or take them for a spin in the food processor. You'll obviously get a more even texture with a grinder. That was not a pretty sight, so I will spare you the picture. Add the meat mixture to the veggies. Season again. Simmer until every thing is well cooked and mushy. (We Southerners do not believe in al dente.)

Add cooked rice. I made mine with chicken broth. It's a little mushy. Trust me. My coworkers would not care. Make sure you've seasoned your rice with Tony Chachere's.

Now toss in hefty amounts of green onion and parsley. Stir and make sure everything is warmed through.
Serve with hot sauce and grab a fork.

Tools of the trade:

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