Search The South Padre Island Flip Flop Foodie Blog!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dirty Rice

I love Dirty Rice from Pappadeaux's Restaurant.  I've never eaten it anywhere else and really didn't know much about it other than it appeared to be a really spicy dish with rice and sausage.  My husband mentioned Dirty Rice the other day which put a bug in my brain to add it to our weekly menu!

Seemed like it would be fairly simple.  I felt like I had the basics on hand, having bought a chub of pork sausage in last week's shopping.  Next step would be seeking out a good recipe.  I started with a search for the recipe from Pappadeaux's.  Knew it wouldn't likely be out there, but hopefully something close.  What did I immediately discover?  OMG!  Chicken Livers. Gizzards. WHAT???  Ewwww.

I put it aside for a bit then went back to search for other recipes for Dirty Rice.  Low and behold, everything I found had chicken livers.  I repeat, ewwww.

I am not a liver fan - whether it be cow or chicken.  It's a no go in my kitchen.  My first job was in my family's meat market and handling liver was just the thing the guys thought would be funny for the boss's daughter to have to do.  I repeat ewwww.

I waited until the day of the Dirty Rice entry on my weekly menu to arrive, thinking I'd just try it with the pork sausage and use the Emeril Lagasse recipe I found on Food Network.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the undefined taste I enjoyed so much in the restaurant just might be chicken livers.  So, I put on my big girl panties and hied myself to the grocery store to find a plastic container of chicken livers.  Hey, chicken livers are pretty darn cheap!  My friend says they use them to fish with.  Gracious, I'd rather handle a worm!

I didn't take photos of the process because, truly, I didn't expect to find it was something I was going to recommend.  I grabbed photos at the end after I made Mr. Flip Flop give it a taste.  He said it was good but spicy!  Anyway, onwards.

I got home and pulled up the recipes I'd marked and made the final decision to do the Emeril thang.  I had some Essence on hand, brown rice instead of white because that's how we roll, and I grabbed a green bell pepper at the store because we usually eat red bell pepper.  I'm not really a bell pepper fan but my husband is, so the way we compromise is to buy the milder red version.  It works okay - especially if I cut the pieces large enough to pick out or make them so small I can't identify them.  I don't mind it as a background taste, just don't like biting into one.

Here'e the link to the Emeril Lagasse original recipe and then the way I made it outlined below.

Dirty Rice
based on Emeril Lagasse Recipe


3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil - divided
1 1/4 pound chicken livers, washed, drained and patted dry
1/2 pound original pork sausage (Owen's brand is good)
1/2 large yellow sweet onion - cut into large chunks
1/3 green bell pepper, seeds and white membrane removed - chunked
2 stalks celery, large chop (use tops too)
2 tsp. minced garlic (I used 4 cloves through a garlic press)
1 Tbsp Emeril's Essence (available on most spice aisles at the grocery store)
 but if not found, there is a recipe for the mix at the link to his recipe above.
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 can (14.5 oz) Swanson's chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 cups brown rice - used 2 bags frozen rice in steamable bags (had 2 cups each)
1 cup long grain white rice - used 1/2 bag of the frozen stuff leftover from previous meal
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley


Heat a large skillet or deep Dutch Oven with 2 Tbsp of the vegetable oil over a medium high heat.

In a food processor, pulse chicken livers until small chunks (just takes 3 or 4 pulses).  There's a method to my madness - I didn't have to touch the livers in a manual chopping process.  It worked!

Add the sausage first to the hot oil, crumbling into small pieces and then add the chopped liver pieces to the pan.  Saute until brown for 6 to 8 minutes.

Rinse the liver juice from the processor bowl (you probably don't need to but I just had to).
Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to processor bowl and pulse a few times to obtain a fine chop, but not a puree.

Add the last tablespoon of vegetable oil to the meat mixture and add the vegetable mix, scraping down the food processor bowl to get it all.  Stir in Essence, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until everything is well incorporated and softened.

Add the chicken broth and bay leaves, stir mixture, scraping any bits from bottom of pan.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.

If you are using frozen rice - pop it into the microwave for about 60 seconds.  Should be cold, but not frozen.  I put all the bags in at once.

After the broth has simmered for 5 minutes, add all of the rice and stir together thoroughly.  The rice should absorb any excess liquid.  Continue simmering for about 5 or 7 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat, remove the bay leaves, add the chopped parsley and serve.
In the pan right before the addition of parsley

We had skillet cornbread with our meal and it helped to offset the spicy heat that was burning my tongue a bit.  The brown rice made everything a slightly different texture and my recipe didn't dry out as much as I have had at the restaurant.  To me, that was a good thing.

We really liked it and I'm sort of over the ewww-ishness regarding chicken livers.  My hubs loves liver, but I don't think it will ever be a staple on my weekly menus!  Dirty Rice, though, I can handle!

Quite delicious and you really can't see pieces of liver.
If I wasn't so opposed to white rice, it would have
likely looked more like you are used to seeing it!
We're a brown rice family though!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


1 comment:

  1. Great post on "Dirty Rice". As a professional chef i have to appreciate your work. Keep Posting useful posts like this. Keep in touch with my websites- Culinary Institute | Chef Training Institute


Comments are moderated - you should see it within a few hours if approved! Spam or marketing comments are immediately deleted. Thank you!!!