DIRTY BAYOU RICE
Some of the most interesting and delicious rice preparations come from Louisiana.
This spicy combination of long-grain rice, vegetables, minced pork, and chicken liver is
from the Bayou. It doesn't look too pretty (hence the name), but it sure does taste good.
In my version, I use lean ground chicken instead of pork and add fresh apples at the last
minute to provide a light, refreshing crunch and to temper the heat of the rice. It's such a
wonderful mixture of flavors and textures, I find myself serving this dish frequently as a
light supper or as a side dish to roast meat.
Yield: 4 Entrées or 6 Side Dish Servings
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For the Spice Mix
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
For the Rice
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
5 ounce (1/2 cup) chicken livers, trimmed of excess fat and coarsely chopped
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cubed (1/2-inch pieces)
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 cup sliced scallions (white and green parts)
||To make the spice mix, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.|
||To make the rice, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the livers and sauté until browned, about 2 minutes. Place the livers in a small bowl. Set aside.|
||Place the chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and keep the broth at a simmer.|
||Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, spice mix, and half of the diced apples.
Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.|
||Add the rice to the vegetables and stir until the grains are coated and shiny, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the livers. Add the simmering broth (be careful — the mixture will splatter violently) add Tabasco sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet,
and cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.|
||Remove and discard the bay leaves; stir in the scallions and the reserved apple. Serve immediately.|