"Hi Honey - I couldn't get the gizzards so I just got the giblets, okay?"
This is what S said to me as I walked in the door after a hard day* at the library. S was cooking my birthday dinner, even though it is my birthday tomorrow. I must say I was momentarily phased by the thought of those giblets. Then he asked me to take a look and guess what he was cooking. Sounds dangerous. I tried to bluff but I was flummoxed till he proudly exclaimed,"Dirty Rice".
Ahh. Between us we manage to get through quite a bit of 'southern' fiction and I don't mean books written in Gippsland or Tassie. James Lee Burke, Carl Hiassen, Tim Gatreaux, Elmore Leonard - you get the idea and there's always mention of jambalaya, po boys, gumbo and of course dirty rice. Every time I read about all that delicious creole and cajun food I want to head to N'Orleans and go crazy. And so that is what my lovely S made me for my birthday dinner. It's not the prettiest dish but it was very tasty. It's got me thinking about corn bread.
Apparently there are lots of ways to make your dirty rice. S did lots of research, found a recipe he liked and then tweaked it a little. As long as you have the holy trinity (celery, peppers (aka capsicum) and onion) you'll be right.
Dirty Rice for a birthday wife
55g chicken gizzards, rinsed (or if you're feeling squeamish use pork mince)
115g chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed
8ml vegetable oil
1.5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
185g uncooked white rice
1.5 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
1/2 red capsicum (yep that's a pepper folks)
475ml chicken stock
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
chives or spring onions
Pulse gizzards in a food processor. Take a deep breath then pulse the livers (I hope you removed the yucky bits).
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Gently cook your holy trinity veg and then add the gizzards, livers and garlic and cook over medium heat until browned.
Add rice and stir until coated with oil. Add stock, salt and peppers> bring to boil then simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Sprinkle with chives or spring onions and serve. Consume while you listen to Zydeco and tap your toes and try not to think about gizzards.
* I put some books on shelves, talked to people about books, ate cake and got taken out for lunch - exhausting!