Eating Nose to Tail


 

I love chicken livers.  And I don't mean that I love chicken livers like the guy next door loves pizza.  The feelings I have about chicken livers are deep and profound, and reserved for very few other ingredients.  There's something about their mild rich flavor combined with their creamy texture that simultaneously comforts and excites me. 

Recently I ate dinner at Red Bones BBQ and had the smoked beef ribs, which were wonderful, but instead of beans I substituted a side of dirty rice.  Now I'm sure that it was something about the name dirty that drew me to this rice, but what arrived with my ribs exceeded my hopes.  Nothing really to look at, a light brown coloured rice with lumps of meat in it, but the flavor had all the calling cards of my favorite ingredient.  Meaty and rich, and only subtly liver-y. 

After looking at a few recipes online this is what I came up with.  Probably nothing compared to what a Southern Mama makes, but still very flavorful.  Pretty good for a Canadian.

After defrosting my chicken livers (yes, I have an emergency stash of liver in my freezer) I rinsed them and removed some of the ugly bits.  Then I started frying the chicken livers, there are a few chicken hearts thrown in for good measure.

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Once nice and brown they got flipped.  The goal is to cook them until they are pink in the center.
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When my livers were done they went to rest on a plate.
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Then I added to the same pan half an onion and one piece of celery with its leaves.  Once these were fragrant and translucent I added a half cup of brown rice and a cup of water.
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I had to add more water when it started to look dry, and I seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and some red pepper flakes.   I brought this mixture up to a simmer for about five minutes, then turned it down and put a lid on it.  I wandered around and did other things while this was simmering away, I think it took around 40 minutes for the rice to cook.  When my rice was cooked I chopped my liver and hearts into pieces.
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Then added my chopped liver to my rice mixture and folded them together.
Tasted it and re-seasoned, it was a little tight so I added a small splash of water and put it back on a low heat so that all the flavors could get to know one another.  Then it was lunch time. 

I spooned my rice into a bowl, brought out a bottle of tabasco and dug in.  The liver flavor was there and had perfumed the dish, but adding that last splash of water and letting everything hang out for a bit before I ate had really brought everything together.  The flavor of the vegetables was there, and because of chicken livers mild flavor none of the ingredients overpowered the dish, but all of them had their place.  The tabasco added a really nice hint of vineager as well as some spice.
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This is very different than the chopped liver of my childhood, but still very yummy.  Chicken livers are incredibly versatile, they can be simply pan-fried and eaten with toast, or made into a mousse and even dirtied up in come rice.  If you're looking for a good introduction into the world of offal chicken livers are some of the easiest to prepare, and in my opinion some of the most delicious.
 


Comments

09/03/2013 03:30

Thanks for sharing about this dirty rice dish you tried out. I think eating chicken lever has many health advantages. I think it is a new experiment you have tried out here and I am happy that it turned out to be a great dish. I think adding vinegar will only increase its taste

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03/11/2014 02:12

Thanks for sharing your article. I really enjoyed it.

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