Dirty rice is most commonly thought of as Cajun in origin (though it is very common throughout the entire South). Why is this rice called dirty? The rice in this dish gets an almost dirty color from the giblets, some people thinking the little bits of giblets resemble little clumps of dirt.
I have to be the first to admit that I am not a super fan of offal (offal most commonly refers to the inner parts of animals—intestines, organs, etc.). That being said, I did love my mom’s fried chicken gizzards growing up (gizzards are the second stomach found in birds and other animals that lack teeth).
You can absolutely make this recipe without the giblets, however, it won’t have quite the same taste. Furthermore, if you ever buy a whole turkey/chicken, please don’t throw the giblets away (packaged inside the poultry cavity). Feed them to your pets or make gravy out of them—just don’t let them go to waste!
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (150 g) white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup (175 g) green pepper, diced
~ salt and pepper to taste
3 cups (700 g) cauliflower, riced with your food processor or box grater
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ pound (230 g) pork sausage meat
½ pound (230 g) chicken giblets
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet.
- Add garlic, onions, celery, and green pepper, and sauté until soft.
- Stir in cauliflower rice, adding in thyme, bay leaf, cayenne, and cumin.
- Meanwhile, brown sausage in a separate skillet. Strain off excess fat, and add sausage to rice.
- In a medium sauce pot, cover giblets and half of the green onions with water and cook over medium heat about 30 minutes. Strain and allow to cool, then chop into very small pieces.
- Combine giblets and remaining green onions with rice mixture, adding in the chicken stock.
- Allow to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or so or until flavors meld and the liquid has cooked off.
Variations—You can have all kinds of fun with this recipe. Add in some tomato paste and cumin to make this a bit more like Spanish rice, mix in diced chicken instead of or along with the giblets and sausage, and make a meal out of it! Get creative and have fun!
Ingredient Notes—Giblets is a term for the offal of a fowl. These are the edible organs and typically include the heart, liver, gizzard, and visceral organs.