“Never judge a dish by its name” is a motto that every wise diner knows. Cajun dirty rice may sound like a terrible name for a dish but one mouthful and you’ll know that “terrible” is not a word to use to describe the experience of eating dirty rice. It is delicious in an indescribably deep and rich way, the dark hues provided by the combination of sausage fat, Cajun seasoning and chopped chicken livers.
Cajun dirty rice is traditionally served as a side dish. However, I intended my version to be a one pot meal so I added sausages. If I had access to Andouille sausages which are so much a part of Cajun cuisine, my dirty rice would probably have a very real Cajun taste. But there are no Andouille sausages in the hinterlands where I live so I opted for a pork sausage that is strongly peppered, richly spiced and NOT sweet. For the Cajun seasoning, I made my own.
- 250 grams spicy sausages
- 1/3 cup celery roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup carrot roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup onion roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup bell peppers roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup sweet peas
- 250 grams chicken livers cooked, seasoned and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 2 to 3 cups cooked white rice
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Cut each sausage into one-inch slices. Throw into a hot frying pan and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through and browned, and a generous amount of fat has been rendered.
Add the chopped celery, carrot and onion. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion bits start to turn translucent.
Add the chopped bell pepper and sweet peas. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
The chopped chicken livers go in next. Throw them in and stir. The chopped liver will soak up the oil; if the mixture appears too dry, you have the option of adding more oil. I prefer butter.
When the chicken liver bits have fried in the oil, they will darken.
Time to add the rice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper after adding the rice to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the rice is heated through and the coloring looks even. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if needed.