Dirty Rice

Dirty rice, as is the case with any dish involving what were once called variety meats, you either love or hate, and I’ve loved it since I was a boy.

Like any standard recipe, dirty rice has as many variations, but a traditional combination usually calls for rice with chicken livers and/or gizzards. Some people add onions, peppers, or celery, while others might use ground meat or game.

The only bone of contention when it comes to dirty rice is between those who cook the rice with the meats and vegetables and those who cook them separately and mix them with seasonings before serving. I belong to the cook-separately-and-mix faction. I do the same with jambalayas, and I’ve been called to the carpet for that more than once, but I like the texture better.

For dirty rice, first cook your gizzards. You can go to the trouble of trimming the membranes if you want, but I’ve found that if you stew gizzards for a very long time they’re going to end up as tender as can be, easy to mince, and the resulting broth is a thing of beauty, rich and gelatinous.

You will have to trim the livers, since those membranes will not break down. Sauté the livers with a little garlic and minced white onion until just done through. Chop and add the meats to cooked rice with whatever sautéed vegetables you like, and a little oil to moisten. Season, keep warm in a covered container, and add chopped green onion before plating.