Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a Cajun dish, Cajuns being the Acadian French who moved to the bayous of Louisiana from Nova Scotia in the 1750s. Cajun cooking is characteristically spicy, uniquely uses sassafras powder (filé) and emphasizes long-cooked roux for flavouring as well as thickening stews. When Robichoux isn’t shooting bad guys he’s boiling crawfish or fixing gumbo, and is indeed partial to a mess of dirty rice. Paul Prudhomme, a big Cajun chef in every sense, says the ‘dirty’ is from the dark appearance that comes from the inclusion of chicken livers and gizzards.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp chicken fat or sunflower oil
  • 225 g/ 8 oz chicken gizzards, chopped
  • 115 g/ 4 oz minced pork
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and chopped
  • 60 g/ 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 225 g/ 8 oz long-grain rice
  • 600 ml/ 1 pt chicken stock
  • 115 g/ 4 oz chicken livers

For the Cajun Spice Mix

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

Method

Start by mixing the Cajun spice mix: ingredients and put to one side.

Put two-thirds of the chicken fat or sunflower oil in a pan and, over a high heat, brown the chopped gizzards and minced pork.

Add the spice mix and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, for 60 seconds. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic with the butter and cook for 8 minutes, stirring.

Stir in the rice and pour on the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and sear the livers quickly. Add to the rice, put on the lid again and give it a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 8 minutes.

Stir and serve alone or as a side dish.

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