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Cajun Dirty Rice

Updated on August 18, 2014

Make That a Side of Cajun Dirty Rice, Please!

Cajun dirty rice is a staple that may turn some away. The authentic version uses giblets - in this case, that means chicken livers and gizzards. I promise, you'll never taste those parts that many dislike. As a puree, those parts are what gives the dirty rice its color. There is also a depth of flavor that, if you don't know what went in, you would never have a clue. Of course, I'm only addressing those who don't care for livers, gizzards, and such. Everyone else will relish this for what it is - a Cajun recipe that has been around for ages.

The Down and Dirty on Cajun and Creole Differences

Most folks think that Cajun and Creole terms regarding food are interchangeable. In some cases, yes; in others, definitely not. The “down and dirty” explanation is that Creole foods evolved with a more elite focus and influenced by multiple nationalities. Trained chefs arrived in New Orleans to prepare their specialty dishes and also to train the slaves. Cajun cuisine is founded on the same influences, but evolved to beetter suit the lower classes. Dishes were more rustic, sauces were darker and ingredients required less precision. Also, as much of the animal was used in meat dishes, which explains why giblets are imperative to Dirty Rice. Sure, you can substitute with ground pork, but it won’t have the intended flavor and it certainly won’t taste the same.

Preparation Tips for Dirty Rice

Leftover rice is an excellent base for this recipe. However, if starting, just follow package instructions (for this recipe, it’s 2 cups rice to 4 cups water).

Grocery stores will carry packages of gizzards and sometimes a mix. Livers are typically packed in plastic tubs.

It takes about four livers and four gizzards to make a Dirty Rice recipe to serve four.

Of course, you can also buy boxed versions to save time. Try Zatarains and Tony Chachere’s.

Cajun Dirty Rice
Cajun Dirty Rice
  • Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 4 cups long grain white rice (pre-cooked)
  • ¼ pound chicken livers
  • ¼ pound chicken gizzards
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno (chopped)
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Louisiana hot sauce to taste


  1. 1. Prepare rice following package directions (for four cups cooked).
  2. 2. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil; add livers and gizzards.
  3. 3. Reduce livers/gizzards to a simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  4. 4. After livers/gizzards are cooled, shred and process in a food chopper to lumpy pureed consistency (if possible).
  5. 5. Dice onions, celery, green bell pepper, jalapeno.
  6. 6. Add oil to a stockpot and sauté diced veggies along with crushed garlic cloves until vegges are soft.
  7. 7. Add the puree of livers and gizzards along with the rice.
  8. 8. Stir in blended seasonings (paprika, oregano, basil, black pepper, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper).
  9. 9. Pour in broth and stir until absorbed.
  10. 10. Serve immediately with hot sauce drizzled on top if desired.
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Cajun and Creole Cookbook - An Authentic and Fun Read!

Cajun and Creole Cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel: The Folklore and Art of Louisiana Cooking
Cajun and Creole Cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel: The Folklore and Art of Louisiana Cooking

With Miss Edie and The Colonel, you get a good bit of history along with authentic recipes. Sit down and enjoy this genteel cookbook before you dive in and make some great dishes!


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