I’m original from Houston but spent a majority of my youth being raised in Louisiana, where dirty rice is one of the most popular side dishes served on many occasions. Some Cajun and Creole folk like to refer to it as rice dressing, but no matter what one prefers to call it, it’s a classic dish that’s rich with tradition in homes, restaurants, and family functions all over the deep south.
Creole cooking has become a tradition in the Walker family. I originally learned this recipe from my father who was also taught by my grandmother. She taught all of her children her classic recipe and it has become one of the most popular dishes at our family gatherings and special occasions. I’ve become so spoiled on this recipe that it’s really hard not to compare it to other recipes served by other chefs or home cooks. Her addition of simple ingredients elevated the flavor and taste much more than anything else out there.
Adding something as simple as chicken gizzards and breakfast sausage gives this dirty rice the signature rich and tangy “dirty” cajun flavor that makes it unforgettable and absolutely perfect for a Thanksgiving dish or just about any other meal.
1/2 pound breakfast sausage
1/2 pound of grassfed ground beef
1/2 cup minced chicken gizzards
3 cups of beef broth
1 tbsp bacon grease, salted butter, or olive oil
2 cups of fresh creole mixture from HEB (onions, celery, bell pepper)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere’s or Zatarain’s)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup water (more as needed)
Large Cast Iron Pan
Cook and cover long-grain white rice. While rice is cooking, cook breakfast sausage over medium heat in a large black cast iron pan. Brown the ground beef and stir in bell pepper until it becomes soft. Remove grease and lower temperature to medium-low heat.
When rice is completed, add other ingredients, stir and cook together until ground beef is completely cooked and liquid is gone – about 25 to 35 minutes. Stir and serve when completed.