I wanted something a little different on Mardi Gras, so instead of Jambalaya or Red Beans and Rice I opted for Dirty Rice. The recipe for this Cajun classic is based on one from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, reducing the fat a bit and omitting the chicken gizzards because no one in this house would touch the dish if they caught me adding those.
I added the ground chicken livers separately to my portion. You can omit them if you wish, but they are traditionally part of the dish.
Otherwise there isn’t much to say about this dish. It is quick and easy to make on a weeknight, which was one of the main selling points for me. You just brown the meat, sauté the veggies then add rice and stock and boil. And it all cooks in one pot – selling point number 2!
You can add in some smoked sausage (sauté with the ground pork) or some shrimp or crawfish (add with the chicken livers) for extra Cajun goodness. But, it is awesome as is.
- 2 tablespoons chicken fat or olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
- 1/2 cup bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 poound ground chicken livers optional
- 3/4 cups rice uncooked
- 2 teaspoons ground red pepper cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl and set aside.
- Melt chicken fat in a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté pork and bay leaves until meat is browned , about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium and add seasoning mix, onions, celery, peppers and garlic and cook until onion starts to become translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent too much sticking.
- Add stock and loosen all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken livers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add rice and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice sit, covered, for another 5-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
Until next time, happy eating.