Monday, 3 October 2016

Dirty Kasha

You need to be cooking some poultry in order to make this a thing to do; turkeys, chickens, and ducks generally all come with the giblets. Don't throw 'em away! Make dirty kasha.

This is, of course, the traditional Cajun recipe for dirty rice, minus the rice and with buckwheat instead. The robust nutty kasha really stands up to the flavour of the poultry giblets and makes an excellent substitute.

This doesn't make huge quantities. It would make a lunch dish for 2 along with a salad or cooked vegetable, or a side dish for 4 or more, especially if some of them turn up their noses at giblets... well, more for the rest of us.

2 to 4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Cook the Kasha:
1/2 cup toasted buckwheat (kasha)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put 4 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a brisk boil. Add the toasted buckwheat kasha and the salt. Boil steadily for 15 minutes, then drain. 

Make the Dirty Kasha:
2 shallots
1 stalk of celery
1/4 of a red pepper
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons chicken, duck, turkey or bacon fat
1/2 teaspoon rubbed savory
1/2 teaspoon good paprika; with a little heat or smoked if liked
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
the giblets from 1 large turkey
OR 2 chickens OR 2 ducks

Meanwhile, peel and chop the shallots. Wash, trim and chop the celery. Core and chop the piece of red pepper. Peel and mince the garlic.

Heat the fat in a large skillet, and add the shallots, celery, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until everything is softened and very slightly browned. Add the seasonings.

While the vegetables cook, chop the giblets finely. Use the heart and liver for sure, but decide how you feel about the crop - at the least it will have a tough, white side that must be cut off and discarded. If it seems soft it can be  used, but if it is at all hard to cut it will be unpleasantly tough - better to throw it in with bones when soup is made, and like a bone, discard it at the end.

Add the chopped meat to the pan when it is ready, and mix it in well. Let everything cook together, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through. Serve at once.

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