All the flavors in this Cajun Dirty Rice may just make you believe that you are sitting in one of the finest restaurants on the bayou, without having to worry about all the gators.
Mr. Yum used to live in New Orleans and makes some of the best Cajun dishes you’ve ever tasted, all from memory. When you know something by heart, it’s a little different because you know what it’s suppose to look like, before moving on to the next step. You taste it as you go along, and add a little of this or that as you go to get your beloved dish to come out the way you remember it. Somehow it just works every time.
Trying to pick someone’s brain to get it into “recipe form” can be a little trial and error, but when you finally get all the parts worked out, you’ve got something that can be passed down for generations. So I think this is one of those recipes that’s evolved over the years, but there’s still families looking for the one recipe they remember having as a child and nothing will ever compare to what they remember.
If you search google for a Dirty Rice recipe, it’s hard to tell what’s an authentic Dirty Rice, some are called Cajun Dirty Rice, but according to Wikipedia there’s also “Rice Dressing” which uses ground beef or ground pork, but has no chicken in it. A true Dirty Rice from back in the old days would have chicken giblets in it because nothing went to waste back then. Waste not, want not! That’s a saying I remember hearing a lot growing up.
So we went on a hunt to find an actual authentic Dirty Rice recipe and found one from one of America’s best-known chefs, Chef Paul Prudhomme who is credited for helping to put New Orleans cuisine on the map for diners “anywhere on the planet”. Among his many accolades and awards, Chef Paul was honored as Nation’s Restaurant News “Fine Dining Legend Award” winner and selected as Chairman of the National Food Safety Education Month in 2001. In 2012, Chef Paul was awarded the high honor being named one of the Pioneers of American Cuisine by the Culinary Institute of America.
I learned so much about cooking from Chef Paul, just watching him on the noon day news (when I was much younger). I think that’s when I first really got excited about cooking. One thing I’ll never forget is to season every step while you cook, best tip ever! I never got to eat at his restaurant, but I appreciate his generosity in sharing his knowledge with the world. He sadly passed away in 2015, but he gave so much to the culinary world he will never be forgotten.
So there’s also Justin Wilson who was quite a character and well known cook around Louisiana and still has several old recipes on You Tube. Now at least we still have Emeril LaGasse who demonstrates gourmet cooking, with a BAM!
Real “Dirty rice” is a traditional cuisine invented by the Creole people, a dish made from white rice which gets a “dirty” color from being cooked with small pieces of chicken liver or giblets, green bell pepper, celery, and onion, and spiced with cayenne and black pepper. Parsley and chopped green onions are common garnishes. Dirty rice is most common in the Creole regions of southern Louisiana.
If you need an idea of something to serve along your Cajun Dirty Rice, give my recipe for New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp a try!
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