I was always intrigued by the name of this dish… Dirty Rice… I guess it’s the little kid in me… there was something innately appealing about a food called Dirty Rice. I decided to see what it was all about… so some investigation yielded numerous recipes… some of which I discounted from the beginning due to some ingredients I knew would never fly in my household…. but before I get into that… first some background.
According to Wikipedia, Dirty Rice is a traditional Cajun dish made of rice and chicken livers or giblets… which give it a dark or “dirty” color…. onion, garlic, celery, green pepper and parsley round out the flavors. Dirty rice is often served as a side dish to salmon or pork.
So I searched for a recipe.. most were very similar.. and did indeed use chicken livers… I happen to love chicken livers, pate in particular… it’s an old family recipe… but in recent years one by one of us has given up eating it because it’s so unhealthy… it’s loaded with cholesterol … and I knew Warren won’t touch the stuff… so I looked for a recipe high in flavor and one without the liver. I found, what I thought sounded like a great recipe by the Neely’s that I decided try.
I did end up altering it a bit though. They used chicken stock, which I found to be rather bland… I decided beef stock or broth would be more flavorful. I also increased the amount of rice and some of the other ingredients, as well.
This is a great weeknight meal.. it really can be made in 30 minutes or less. You can use Minute rice instead of long grain rice (long grain rice was what the Neely’s used) which will cut the cooking time down considerably. If you do use long grain rice, make it according to the package instructions, using beef stock or broth instead of water.
I made my Minute rice in the microwave while I cooked the other ingredients… which also helped move things along faster.
I decided to use a Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage. You can use a pork sausage instead… it’s up to you.
My recipe will make 4 generous portions. I served this with corn bread made with red and green pepper added.
This is a great dish for a Mardi Gras celebration… it’s low maintenance and delicious!
Recipe: Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage
All you need:
3 cups Minute rice
4 cups beef broth or stock, divided
1 large and 1 small onion, finally chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 smoked beef sausage, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
All you have to do:
Prepare rice according to package directions using beef broth or stock instead of water (if using Minute rice… you use equal parts rice and stock, so 3 cups of each for this recipe).
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the sliced sausage and brown lightly on both sides.
Add the celery, green pepper, onions and garlic.
Stir well to coat the veggies with the oil and cook over medium high heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of beef stock and cayenne. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked rice and parsley. Stir well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
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