It’s the Friday night before Mardi Gras, so it’s time to indulge. Come Ash Wednesday, Christians all over the world go into a period of fasting until Easter.
Some people fast by not eating meat on Fridays. Some give up something valuable to them, like coffee, social media, chocolate or soda. Some people observe the time by doing acts of service for others.
Whatever you choose to do, tonight is the last Friday before Lent begins, so southerners all over the country are letting the proverbial good times roll.
This rich dish is an amalgamation of a few other Cajun dishes and uses prized ingredients like rice and andouille sausage. Andouille is a spicy Cajun sausage, but feel free to substitute another spicy sausage of your choosing.
My older son will dump extra hot sauce on this dish, and my younger son will add some cheese on top.
You could also add diced chicken thighs in with the sausage when you cook it, making sure the chicken is cooked through.
So, stay home tonight, and celebrate the last of the decadent before the time of preparation for Easter.
Cajun Dirty Rice
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs hot sauce
2 cups long-grain rice
12 oz andouille sausage (or other spicy sausage), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh scallions, chopped
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, hot sauce and rice. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 18 minutes without lifting the lid. After 18 minutes, do not remove pan from burner or lift lid, but turn off heat and let stand for 10 more minutes.
While the rice is standing, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic to the drippings from the sausage. Sauté for 10 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, and return sausage to the cast-iron skillet. Stir to combine and cook through. Add the rice; stir until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
Garnish with scallions and serve.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 668, Calories from Fat: 230, Fat: 26 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 1904 mg, Carbohydrates: 82 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 25 g.