Cajun Dirty Rice Gets A New Makeover
Cajun Dirty Rice like my mama used to make has traditionally been made with chicken livers and gizzards. I recall we always used to have Dirty Rice on Sundays growing up when we had BBQ chicken. Back then, the innards came with the whole chicken so the savvy cajun cooks used it as a flavoring for rice. Now, because these parts are no longer packed with chicken, ground meat, ground turkey, and soy crumbles make a good stand-in for the chicken livers and gizzards.
This fried rice version of dirty rice makes a great base for Red Beans or Etoufee or it makes a great quick meatless meal alongside a salad and crusty French bread. If you wanted to add an egg and some soy sauce towards the end of cooking, it would make it a bit more Asian like. I like to keep the flavor profile authentic to Louisiana when possible when cooking this dish because I pair it with other Cajun specialties of the house. It freezes great and will stay in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Cajun Fried Rice
Yields 4-6 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth
8 ounces sausage style vegetable protein (usually found near the tofu or soy crumbles
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley(optional)
1. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. celery, and bell peppers and saute until onion is translucent. Add garlic, green onions, and spices and cook for one minute more, or until garlic is fragrant add stock. 2. Add vegetable protein and stir, breaking up with a spoon. Cook for a few minutes or until browned. (*If it anything begins to burn or stick to the bottom of the pan, just add some water or broth and continue cooking) 3. Add cooked rice and green onions. Stir and cook until most of the liquid is gone and rice is heated through. Stir in chopped parsley (optional) and serve.
Here is a photo from a recent trip to New Orleans where hot sauce is celebrated and given its own shop in the French Quarter. Cajuns LOVE their hot sauce.