Dirty Rice

The meat and vegetables cooked down
The meat and vegetables cooked down

Today’s cooking experiment is Dirty Rice, the naughty equivalent to…wait no!  Rather, the delicious Cajun rice dish.  This recipe was interesting to me because it uses meats that I don’t normally cook with (chicken gizzards and livers) and it highlighted to me the power of food taboos.  These are parts of an animal I usually consider waste material and I don’t use.  I actually had to go to a specialty butcher shop to get them, since my regular grocery store didn’t carry them.  But, really, it’s just meat.  Why are they “gross” to me?

Chicken liver
Chicken livers. Does this picture bother you? Think about why. It’s just meat.

In the future, I may not use gizzards and livers if it requires a special trip.  Maybe I’ll just use sausage, but at least the first time I wanted to make it as authentically as possible.  I did skimp and use the short grain rice more suited for Asian dishes that I keep on hand rather than getting converted rice, but this proved to be a mistake.

Ground pork and ground gizzards, with bay leaves
Ground pork and ground gizzards, with bay leaves

The recipe I used was from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, the 1984 cookbook that doesn’t know the meaning of “too much saturated fat.”  Every recipe I’ve made from it is really delicious and makes enough to feed a small army.  You can find a very similar version to the recipe I used online.  The recipe says it makes six servings and my rough estimation is that each would be about 470 calories.  So, heavy for a side but not ending the world as a main part of a meal.  Ok, Louisiana Kitchen, you can remain part of my cooking arsenal.

Chicken broth simmer
Adding chicken broth and letting simmer before adding rice

This recipe is spicy!  I love spicy food, so that’s great for me, but be aware.  I felt that the rice-to-meat ratio was a little low and I wanted a little more rice.  As an additional rice note, my short grain rice took almost 20 minutes to be soft enough to eat (and even though remained slightly crunchy), instead of the suggested 10 in the recipe.  Maybe if I’d used converted rice instead of short grain rice neither of these things would have happened.  Oh the shame!

dirty rice
The finished dirty rice. Next time: will use the appropriate rice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *