A Classic Cajun Dish

Chef Chris Noble of Dixie Blues Restaurant & Bar gives his tips on making dirty rice

Mardi Gras is a great time to celebrate all things Cajun. If you haven’t tried dirty rice, wait no longer. The dish is a staple in New Orleans, but don’t be put off by the one key ingredient — chicken liver. It gives the dish a slight taste of a Thanksgiving stuffing made with the turkey’s giblets.

Photo by Susan Laughlin

Chef Chris Noble, a native of New Orleans, is showcasing his Southern cooking at the new Dixie Blues Restaurant & Bar in Nashua. The large space offers a huge bar, more than 40 beers on tap and sea of TVs for sport fans, plus plenty of tables for families and groups. Dueling pianos will offer entertainment later in the evening. The Manchester restaurant, with the same name, is slated to open in March or April after a series of delays. Noble expects the experience to be slightly different in Manchester with variations on the menu and a more sophisticated drink list.

Find all the Cajun classics at Dixie Blues, such as étouffée, po’ boys, jambalaya, seafood gumbo and more. Southern influences include a whole list of chicken and pork from the smoker. Steaks and burgers are available as well.

Dirty Rice Recipe

To cook the rice
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves

Combine all in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered an additional 5 minutes, Remove cover, cool a bit, then fluff with a fork.

1 lb. pork sausage
3/4 lb. chicken liver and/or chopped gizzards
2 cups onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons Cajun spice mix or make your own blend (recipe below)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 cup scallions chopped, for garnish

Cajun spice mix

1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme and 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder

In a large Dutch oven (or wok), brown pork sausage and then the liver in the fat released from the sausage. Remove liver/gizzards from pan and fine dice or mince in a food processor.

Add onion, bell pepper and celery to the Dutch oven with cooking oil and cook until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes, adding cooking oil or butter if necessary. Add garlic, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, Cajun mix, soy and Worcestershire sauces, bay leaves, minced chicken liver/gizzards/pork sausage and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes.

Add cooked rice and another 1 cup of broth. Heat and stir to combine well and liquid is absorbed. Garnish with scallions, if desired.

Categories: Recipes