Rice dressing (aka Dirty Rice) is a Louisiana staple. By the way, for those of you wondering why Southerners call rice dressing "Dirty Rice", it's because the rice picks up juices from added meats and turns it a brown color making it look almost "dirty". Speaking of meat, should Louisiana rice dressing contain liver?

Louisianans generally make rice dressing using long grain rice, chicken gizzards, ground meat, onions, celery, garlic and seasonings. Less than half of Cajuns cook rice dressing using liver as well. Some love the taste of liver rice dressing, others despise it. If you decide to include liver in your rice dressing, the key is getting the ratio just right. There's no set amount, no right or wrong, just be careful the liver you add doesn't overpower your Louisiana delight.

A good general Louisiana "Dirty Rice" recipe includes the following:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb pork
  • 1/2 pound ground chopped chicken gizzards
  • several chicken livers (optional)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 4 - 6 stalks of chopped celery
  • 3-5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 can store-bought chicken broth or use your own
  • 4 cups uncooked rice
  • seasonings

For preparation details, visit generalhorticulture.tamu.edu.

Legendary Louisiana chef Justin Wilson says, "no liver" in rice dressing.