Last night was the second time we’d tried our new recipe for Dirty Rice. We still love it, so it has the honor of being hand written in our stained, loved and well used Recipe Journal.
I had done a good bit of internet searching for a good recipe that was similar to the Zatarain’s box mix we discovered when we lived in Jackson, MS. I was shocked to learn that most authentic recipes called for duck or chicken livers in large quantities. Thank you, but no. I’ll go with less authentic and more likelihood of being eaten. The following is an adaptation based loosely off of an about.com recipe, in a quantity to feed my hungry horde:
Brown 2 packages of bulk sausage in large pot until most of the pink is gone (no need for spicy sausage as I add heat later).
Stir in about 2 cups of diced onions (2 big or 3 small) and cook with meat for another 3-5 min, until onion is translucent.
If there’s an abundance of grease, pour most of it off, otherwise leave it in, as it’s going to help spread the heat now as we add and stir in about 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. That measurement is a guess. You’ll want to tweak this for your own tastes, but remember there will be a boatload of rice in this, and rice is bland! I add the red pepper here because it gets into the grease easier, and it’s the oil that holds and carries the heat throughout the dish. If you wait to add it until the end, you’ll have spots of heat, but nothing uniform, and this dish needs uniform heat.
Now add 14 cups chicken stock or equivalent in bullion and 5 cups of white long grain rice (the real stuff, not minute rice). This is a pretty big departure from the standard 1 cup dry rice to 2 cups of water ratio, but trust me, it works.
While that’s coming to a boil, you may add 2 tsp salt, if your stock or bullion is sodium-free.
Bring it to a boil, and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
That’s it. Simple, huh? And no bird livers! Don’t be alarmed by the low meat to rice ratio. Leaving that bit of fat in spreads the sausage and hot pepper flavor through everything, so you don’t feel like you’re being scrimped on meat. In fact, the original recipe called for a lot more sausage in it, but I cheated small the first time and it was so flavorful that I’m keeping it this way to make it more economical. If you want to make it pretty, put in some dried parsley with the rice or fresh parsley as a garnish at the end.