When I was in first-through-third grade, the school principal was Sr Lucas who had a pet parakeet. I don’t recall its name but it used to say, “dirty dirty” if you put your finger up to it. I have no idea why though I imagine that Sr Lucas thought we were all filthy horrid things which, I also imagine, we were. (In fourth grade, just for the one year, the principal was the ironically named, mentally ill, shrieking-witch-from-hell Sr Theophilius. She did not have a parkeet.)
Dirty Rice is a completely transcendent dish I made recently. I swiped this ages ago from Paul Prudhomme’s New Orleans cookbook although I have modified it. I am really careless with spice and herb measuring, I use more than twice what the recipe calls for which is why it’s dirty dirty, rather than just plain dirty.
Makes 6 side-dish servings
(or 2, if you eat like me)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ pound ground pork or beef or whatever
2 bay leaves
1 TB Chili powder
2 tsp each, sage, oregano, thyme
1 tsp each dry mustard, cumin, paprika
1 cup finely chopped diced onions
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced green bell peppers
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup uncooked rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 ground chicken livers
(I process them in a food processor, it
looks so very gross)
In a heavy casserole sauté
pork and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until the meat is
thoroughly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Stir in all spices and herbs
then add the onions, celery, bell peppers, Worcestershire sauce and garlic.
scraping the skillet bottom well, and add the butter and stir until
(You can make it up to this point the day before, cool, cover and
Reduce the heat to medium
and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the skillet
bottom well, for a few minutes. Add the rice and cook,
constantly stirring and scraping the
skillet bottom, for a few more minutes,
the rice should start to crackle and pop.
Add the stock and stir to
loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet,
then cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil.
Stir in the chicken livers, cover
the skillet, and reduce the heat to very low.
Cook for 15 minutes, remove
from the heat, and leave covered until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
It will stay hot for a long time and it’s perfectly fine to serve nearly room temperature.
Remove the bay leaves though.