The variety of names for this recipe; Louisiana Dirty Rice, Cajun Dirty Rice, Creole Dirty Rice give a big clue as to how this recipe is viewed by the locals. They all claim it! Regardless of its origin, which I suspect was simultaneous in various parts of the state, it’s pretty consistent. It’s called “dirty” because the browned meats give it a mahogany cast that resembles a rich loam. It features the trinity of bell pepper, onion, and celery and this version calls for chicken liver and sausage as meats.
And it can be enjoyed as a light main course with a salad or as a side dish. It even freezes well if you end up with too much so let’s get started.
First you make the rice. This is usually white but if using brown remember that you need to allow more time for cooking. Next you want to make sure all your other ingredients are chopped up as below:
Meat comes next and the meat I use is loose sausage and chicken livers. To me the livers impart a sort of poor man’s creamy foie gras like unctuousness to the finished dish. However, if you no like, substitute ground chuck beef. Brown both well in a pan with a little oil to prevent sticking then set aside.
Next you will cook all the veg till soft but not brown. If using the pan you cooked the meats in scrape them out and put the veg over that, stirring to incorporate the browned bits at the bottom. (I was in a hurry so used two pans but that’s not necessary). When cooking the veg stir in the parsley and green parts of the green onion just before taking off the burner. The residual heat will cook them slightly which is all you need.
Last but not least – leftovers. Below you’ll see a day after breakfast that microwaved nicely.
- For the rice:
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. salt
- For the meats:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ lb. sausage
- 1 lb. chicken livers
- For the vegetables & flavorings:
- 1 stick butter
- ½ cup celery, diced
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup white part of green onion, chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper, diced (any color)
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons garlic, diced
- 1 tsp. ground thyme
- 1 tsp. celery salt
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook rice with chicken broth, bay leaves & salt until soft & set aside.
- Put a little oil in a saucepan and brown the sausage then the livers.
- Remove from the pan, chop the livers and then melt a stick of butter stirring & loosening the browned bits off the bottom.
- When the butter is melted add the celery, onions, bell pepper, garlic & seasonings and cook over medium heat till soft, about five minutes, then add the parsley and the green parts of the green onions.
- Stir in the reserved meats & rice, then salt and pepper to taste.
- Warm over a low flame for a couple of minutes and keep covered until serving.