“Dirty Rice” is a creole spiced dish that has earned it’s name from the brown-ish color the rice turns when you cook it down with seasoned poultry innards. Now, as much of a eat-with-your-eyes kind of person that I am, I’m starting to discover that I’m also sensitive to how things are cooked, and what they are cooked with. Something about changing the color of rice because it becomes “dirty” from livers and such just didn’t seem appealing to me, especially because I love the creole spices.
Choosing black rice gives this recipe rich color, and replacing the protein with roasted chicken and sausuage adds to the smokey flavor of the dish – nothing dirty about it!
-chicken, cooked – I prepared boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the oven
-smokey sausage – I used turkey
-1 cup black rice
-1 red pepper
-half of one onion
-1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
-1T minced garlic
-2T olive oil
-2t creole seasoning
-¼ – ½ cup white cooking wine
-½ t cayanne pepper
-salt and black pepper to taste
Start by cooking your chicken – I cooked my chicken in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, brushed with some olive oil, salt and pepper – and cooking your rice according to package directions. One that’s all cooking, chop up your vegetables. I like a good half moon for the zucchini, a bite-sized dice for the peppers, and a finer dice for the onions. I also ran my knife through the thawed, chopped spinach just to break it up. In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil, onions, and garlic over medium heat, Once the onions become translucent, add the rest of the vegetables. Remember to stir so that all vegetables are coated and get equal time to brown on the hot surface.
After about 8-10 minutes, add in the seasoning, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes. Cube the chicken and the sausage, and add the sausage to the dish – cook another 5 minutes. By now, your rice should be done.
Add the rice, chicken, and wine to the pan, turn the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes so that the flavors combine.
I’m so happy with how this recipe turned out – like most of my savory dishes, it’s simple and healthy, and packed with flavor. And, it’s pretty flexible! Use whatever leftover starch you have lying around – quinoa, orzo, riced cauliflower – or add to the flavor pallet with some rotisserie chicknen. So long as you keep the seasoining the same and be sure to add a protein with some smokiness, you won’t be dissapointed!