Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Dirty Rice

So for a while now, I've been wanting to try a recipe for dirty rice. I've looked at a number of recipes -- some healthy and some not so healthy. Some that resemble more like jambalaya, and others that have every part of the chicken in there except the actual meat. And I thought to myself, "Wait a minute, I know how to cook. Lemme give it a whirl." So I did a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants attempt at dirty rice, and now I'm a fan.

The idea of dirty rice is to take whatever is available in your fridge, and put it together in a meal. It's the freshly made "left-overs" meal that's made when you want to make sure all the parts of the bird are used.

I have a 10-inch super slide pan with a lid. If you don't have one, you can do this in a sauce pan. Just make sure it has a lid that fits.

So here's what I did this time around:

1 chicken breast
3 cups of water
3+3 cloves of garlic
1/2 +1 tsp salt
2+2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium sized onion
1/2 of a red pepper
1/2 of green pepper
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp tumeric (just because i know it's good for you)
pinch of nutmeg (cuz i like sweet nuttiness)
1 cup of uncooked rice (i used regular sushi rice)
1 cup of other veggie (carrot, peas... i happened to have asparagus lying around)


1. Place chicken breast, 1/2 tsp salt and 3 smashed garlic cloves in a pot of the water. Boil and then simmer for a good 30 mins.

2. Mince the other 3 cloves of garlic, and dice the onion, red and green pepper, and any other veggie you decide to use. Then go check your emails or something until the chicken is done boiling.

3. Remove the chicken and place on a dish to cool down. Remove any larger pieces of garlic or what's left of it. Save the stock.

4. Heat 1/2 tsp of olive oil in the pan and fry the garlic and onion until the onion is cooked and translucent.

5. Rough chop the chicken breast. It should be falling apart by itself as you chop it so make sure you have relatively good chunks in there. Add it to the onion/garlic mixture along with the peppers and veggies. Fry up until the veggies are just starting to cook.

6. Add the paprika, tumeric, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt and uncooked rice. Add one more tbsp of olive oil and toss around until the spices are incorporated and the rice has a chance to roast up a bit.

7. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock to the pan. Cover and simmer on medium low for 20-25 minutes. (basically when the rice is cooked, it's ready).

8. Taste, and add more salt (and pepper) if needed.

Serves 2 meals, or 4 side dishes.

What I'm going to try next time:

a) chicken on the bone (for a richer stock)

b) adding chorizo or some chili pepper for more flavor zing.

c) stir once during the 20 min cook (the bottom got quite brown by the end, but when i stirred it around, the rice looked more "dirty" so i was still ok with it).

It was a good first attempt. I'm pleased with the result.

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