First off, this is not what is commonly called “Dirty Rice.” It uses a long-grain white rice (but you could use brown), a bit of Cajun spice, and the Holy Trinity of Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines (bell pepper, onion, and celery).
This is one of my favorite ways to jazz up some plain rice and it makes an excellent side dish, any time you need a starch, and you’re tired of potatoes or plain rice. It’s quick, easy to prep, and tastes wonderful.
Add the butter, and olive oil to a large skillet, sitting over medium heat.
Chef’s Note: This pan will need a tight fitting lid, and be able to hold all of the ingredients.
When the foaming subsides, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies begin to soften.
Chef’s Tip: We don’t want the veggies to fully cook, because in the next step, we’re going to add the rice, and they’ll get another 5 minutes of cooking time.
Add the rice to the pan.
Continue to sauté until the rice begins to slightly brown, about another 5 minutes.
Chef's Note: It's not really necessary that the rice browns all much... another 5 minutes is all you can spare here. Keep the rice moving in the pan, and don't let it stick to the bottom.
Add the parsley, and creole seasoning, plus the salt and black pepper (to taste).
Stir to incorporate the spices.
Chef’s Note: Two of my favorite pre-packaged seasonings are: Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, and another one called: Slap Yo Mama. But, if you’re like me, here’s my recipe for a good Creole spice mix, that has good heat that builds.
Andy’s Creole Spice Mix:
One teaspoon each: chili powder, ground oregano, dried thyme, ground white pepper, cracked peppercorns, crushed pepper flakes, and kosher salt.
Two tablespoons each: sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Plus one or two bay leaves.
Combine all the ingredients in a spice blender, and grind until fine. It will store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 months.
Add the chicken stock to the pan, and then reduce the heat to low.
Chef’s Tip: You can use water in place of chicken stock; but I would really recommend the stock. It brings the flavor of this humble rice dish to a whole new level. In addition, because of the high sodium content of broths; if you decide to use a broth (instead of a stock), then eliminate the kosher salt from recipe.
Cover the pan, and allow the rice to simmer lightly for 20 minutes.
Chef’s Note: Be careful about the heat. Since the sauté pan will be on the stovetop for 20 minutes, if the temp is too high, it will burn the rice on the bottom of the pan.
After twenty minutes, remove the lid and check the rice. The liquid should be nicely absorbed into the rice. If not, cover and give it a few more minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and serve with your favorite protein.
Chef’s Note: If you want to make this a one-dish meal, try adding some sausage (your choice), maybe some cubed ham, chopped chicken (pre cooked), or whatever protein you desire… how about all of them. Enjoy