Dirty Rice is made with perfectly seasoned rice and meat and is a great Southern side dish to any meal or as a whole meal on it's own!
CAJUN DIRTY RICE RECIPE
I'm a huge lover of Dirty Rice. I never knew why it was called "dirty" though. Then I learned the answer from a cajun neighbor. Because the rice turns a light brown color after adding seasoning and meat, it looks and was considered "dirty." You can learn a lot about a region just by understanding the food that is made there. The flavors in dirty rice are so unique and it's hard to describe but it’s a combination of different cultures: a little French and a little African. This particular recipe was given to me by that same neighbor and it was his family's recipe. I hope you love this Dirty Rice recipe as much as we do!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
A traditional, authentic recipe for Dirty Rice will use chicken gizzards or chicken livers. Often ground beef isn’t even added because it would’ve been seen as a luxury meat back when this recipe would’ve been initially prepared. The gizzards can obviously be left out if you don't enjoy those flavors.
It’s a little organ that’s part of a chickens’ digestive tract. It’s actually a very healthy piece of meat that’s often overlooked by cooks.
Enslaved Africans were usually only given parts of meat that the white colonizers deemed “inedible.” So they made great use of these cuts of meat and the African ingenuity and creativity really shined in their cooking. Also, we probably wouldn’t have had rice introduced into America so early on if it weren’t for the enslaved Africans skills with producing this crop.
The meats are optional in this. However, some substitutes can be ground sausage or andouille sausage.
The process of rinsing rice removes the starch from the surface of the rice. Just keep rinsing until the water is clear and not cloudy. That extra starch can cause the rice to turn out gummy and we don't want gummy rice!
Absolutely, I would suggest using a larger pan or pot.
Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe freezes well in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
Yes. And from what I could gather about its history, dirty rice was originally made by Acadian immigrants (who eventually became known as "Cajuns"). Acadians are descendants of the French who settled in Canada about 200-300 years ago. Then they made their way to the American South (thanks to a tempting offer from the Spaniards that offered them land to block British expansion along the Mississippi River). It is thought that they pulled together their own country's flavors and combined them with African flavors and foods. Also, it should be noted, (very generally speaking) Black descendants of enslaved Africans and French immigrants are generally referred to as "Creole" and the descendants of the Acadians (who were Caucasian) are generally referred to as "Cajun". These are both distinct cultures in their own right even though today we often use them interchangeably.
For authentic cajun recipes, please check out Louisiana Woman Blog.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- long grain rice
- beef broth
- canola oil
- lean ground beef
- chicken gizzards (optional)
- green bell pepper
- sweet onion, garlic
- celery seed
- creole seasoning
- onion powder
- cayenne pepper
- ground black pepper
- green onion
HOW TO MAKE DIRTY RICE:
Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Then add to a pot along with the beef broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, add the canola oil to a large skillet (12”) and turn on medium heat.
Once heated, add the ground beef, gizzards, bell pepper, onion, garlic and sauté for about 8-10 minutes.
Add the rice, celery seed, creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and water. Stir and heat through.
Serve immediately garnished with chopped green onion.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES? GIVE THESE A TRY!
- INSTANT POT DIRTY RICE
- LOUISIANA JAMBALAYA
- SOUTHERN SHRIMP GUMBO
- THE BEST SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
- HOMEMADE SOUTHERN SWEET TEA
- SWEET SOUTHERN CORNBREAD
Old-Fashioned Dirty Rice
- 2 cups extra long grain rice
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup chicken gizzards
- ½ green bell pepper chopped
- ½ sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (I like Tony Chachere's)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- green onion chopped (optional garnish)
- Rinse the rice thoroughly, then add to a pot along with the beef broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking add the canola oil to a large skillet (12”) and turn on medium heat.
- Once heated, add the ground beef, gizzards, bell pepper, onion, garlic and saute for about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the celery seed, creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and water. Stir and heat through.
- Add the rice to the skillet and combine.
- Serve immediately garnished with chopped green onion.
- This recipe can easily be doubled but I suggest making it in a large pot instead of a skillet.
- This can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
- You can omit the gizzards as they aren't essential but they are authentic.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.