Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dirty Rice

In the South there is a popular dish (Dirty Rice) that makes use of some ingredients that aren't as popular in other parts of the country. The name Dirty rice comes from  the inclusion of chicken livers which gives the rice a brown coating (making it look like it's dirty) As in most recipes from the south everyone's got a different way to prepare dirty rice (to some if the rice doesn't have livers and gizzards, then it isn't dirty rice) In this first recipe the only meat comes from livers and gizzards.

 4 cups chicken stock
 1 medium onion
 1 celery rib
 1 red bell pepper
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
 1/2 pound chicken livers
 (about 5 livers)
 1/4 pound chicken gizzards
 (about 6 gizzards)
 3 cloves garlic
 2 cups rice.

Finely chop of the onion, celery, and bell pepper, mince the garlic, chop up the livers and gizzards into small pieces (about 1/4-in) then heat a medium saucepan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, butter, or bacon drippings (til the fat just shimmers) Brown the gizzards (medium heat about 5 minutes) turning periodically to brown  evenly. Add the chopped liver to the mixture until the liver is just browned. As soon as the livers aren't red or pink  add the onions. Cook (while stirring) til the onion turns translucent (for another couple minutes) Mix in the bell peppers and garlic and cook another three minutes or so while stirring occasionally.
Pour the rice into the pan and stir to mix.

Once the rice is completely mixed pour in the chicken stock season the black pepper and cayenne pepper. (add salt to your taste) Bring the stock to a boil. (this is were a my families heavy dutch oven comes into play as it distributes heat effectively no hot spots that may cause the rice and food at the bottom to stick. (to keep this from happening stir while bringing the stock to a boil.) Once the mixture is boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low (just enough to keep the mixture simmering)  Allow the rice to simmer for twenty minutes, then remove from the heat. Fluff the rice and cover again for ten more minutes. Serve.

A Cajun-style dirty rice recipe.
Serves 4 to 6.

    3/4 pound chicken gizzards
    3 1/2 cups hot chicken broth
     or beef broth
    1 to 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
    4 tablespoons butter, divided
    1/2 pound ground lean pork
    (some with Andouille sausage)
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/2 cup chopped green onions with tops
    2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or a few dashes Tabasco sauce
    1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
    1/2 pound chicken livers, finely diced

Simmer gizzards in the chicken or beef broth for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove gizzards with a slotted spoon (grind or mince) Reserve broth. Heat bacon drippings and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy casserole. Sauté the pork and gizzards over high heat until pork is no longer pink. Lower heat; add vegetables and seasonings and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice and reserved broth; bring rapidly to a boil stir once, cover, and lower heat simmer about 15 minutes (until rice is tender)
Sauté minced chicken livers in remaining butter for 3 minutes. Toss with the rice, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and let rice fluff in a 225° oven (10 minutes)

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