Sunday 21 April 2013

Dirty Rice

I thought the next dish in my exploration of the food of the southern states of the USA would be grits. But it's turning out to be tricky to get grits. I could substitute polenta but apparently grits really are quite different, so until I can get it (without paying an arm and a leg on Amazon), I'll look at some other dishes.

Paul and I both like liver. But he likes it done to the point of abuse: leathery and bitter. It's worse than how he likes his eggs cooked. I feel so horrible treating food with such disrespect that I don't cook liver for him very often. I kept thinking about dirty rice as a way for us to eat liver without having to cook it to leather. It seemed like good end-of-the-week comfort food, requiring a bit of preparation but not a lot of effort in the cooking.

I looked at a few recipes before branching out on my own. I wanted a lot more bits to less rice because we were having it as a whole meal, not as a side dish. Also, even though most recipes used cooked rice, they also then added a lot of chicken broth, which I thought would make it wetter than I wanted. They also cooked the chicken livers much harder than I wanted to, although Paul would have approved of that.

So this is my version of a Southern classic. Hertfordshire dirty rice.

Dirty Rice (serves 3 as a main)

1 cup rice, dry weight
Vegetable oil
3 sticks celery, diced
2 large onions, diced
2 green peppers, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g pork sausage meat
100g chorizo, diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
250g chicken livers, pulsed in a food processor until finely diced
Hot sauce, to serve

Cook the rice however you do. Spread out onto a plate to cool.

Saute the celery, onion and peppers in a bit of vegetable oil until starting to soften, then add the garlic, chorizo and sausage meat. Brown the sausage meat well and season with the paprika and herbs.

Stir the rice through the sausage mixture, then add the chicken livers and cook until it changes from an alarmingly bloody mass to a steaming hot brown mess. Taste for seasoning and serve with a good slurp of hot sauce.


Heather S-G said...

Mmmm...I love dirty rice. Yours looks delicious! You know, it's a bit tricky getting grits up here in the "north" without having to order them as well. It annoys me to no end. Sometimes I get lucky, though.

Suelle said...

Hertfordshire counts as the deep south in this country, doesn't it?

This dish sounds interesting, and I love liver, but for some reason it doesn't really appeal to me.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Heather - thanks

Suelle - maybe not *deep* south! But pretty southern. This really does taste much better than it looks. Like a really meaty pilaf.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Oooooh - I want. I've often heard dirty rice mentioned, but I actually had no idea what it was, and I certainly had no idea it had chicken livers in it. Now I can't wait to discover the joys of dirty rice. I'm thinking it will be a solitary pleasure though as no way would my partner eat chicken livers or even anything that they'd been in, which is fine - all the more for me :-)

Alexandra Stafford said...

I love dirty rice and have never tried making it. I have a friend from New Orleans who dropped off a batch of dirty rice to all of her friends at Xmas. It was such a nice change from Xmas cookies, and it was Oh So Delicious! Yours looks divine.

Bettina Douglas said...

From the real Deep South of Queensland - what qualifies as hot sauce?

Alicia Foodycat said...

Couscous - apparently not all of them have chicken livers, some have livers and gizzard.

Ali - that is a nice change from cookie plates!

Mother - Tabasco, or others of that ilk. I used my homegrown tabasco-esque sauce.

Joanne said...

I've never actually had dirty rice but your version looks like a winner to me!

grace said...

i'm so sad that it's so difficult for you to obtain grits! it certainly makes me much more appreciative of their availability to me!

Sue/the view from great island said...

My husband would LOVE this!

Simona Carini said...

What en interesting dish. I like your idea of exploring another cuisine. I can imagine that getting grits in the UK is not easy. I am not sure I could get them in a store either, since I am not in the south.


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