Unlike jambalaya, which can be served as a main course, dirty rice is strictly a side dish. It's cooked down with pork and livers, flavored with green onions and crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound chicken or turkey giblets (heart removed)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 1/2 cups parboiled rice, such as Uncle Ben's
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 scallions, light-green parts only, thinly sliced, for garnish
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground pork until all the pink is gone. Drain the excess fat and set aside.
In two or three batches, place the giblets, onion, bell pepper and celery in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the giblet-vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, Creole seasoning and marjoram. Stir, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (but don't let the mixture dry out), about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the rice and the chicken stock to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and add it to the pan containing the giblet-vegetable mixture. Add the ground pork and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the mixture to a medium-large ovenproof skillet and bake for about 5 minutes, longer if the rice is very damp. It's done when the rice is a little dry but not hard. Garnish with scallions.
Adapted from Tom Fitzmorris, a restaurant critic and radio talk-show host and the author of "New Orleans Food," which was published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang after this article appeared.
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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