To many folks, like our northern kin, this is called Rice Dressing. But in Cajun country, we call it Dirty Rice. In most Cajun households not too much of anything is wasted, including the innards of chicken as in this recipe the gizzards and livers are the element that gives the dish a distinguished, pastoral flavor. Enjoy!
6 tablespoons lard or cooking oil, divided
1 pound chicken gizzards
1/2 to 1 pound chicken livers
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint of small oysters, optional
4 cups cooked white rice
Make a dark brown roux using the flour and 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat stirring constantly. Put aside.
Chop fine or put gizzards through a food chopper. Over medium low heat, cook the gizzards in remaining oil until brown. Add garlic, onions, celery, bell pepper and cook to brown around the edges. Cut livers in small pieces and add to the pan. Add the roux and enough warm water to make a thick sauce. If you are using seafood, add it now. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully fold in the rice and heat over low heat. Do not stir too much or you will break the grains and end up with mushy dressing.
Note: I sometimes use pork bulk sausage instead of the gizzards and livers and like the flavor equally well. Garnish with green onion tops or parsley if desired.
Photo from Savoie’s