I’ve got a fascination with American Food. Not burgers, fries and deep fried butter (yes, such a thing does exist). No, I’m interested in the real cuisine of America. Long before Jamie’s American Road Trip, I was interested in the dishes that I’ve heard about, seen on tv and read about. Pumpkin Pie, Chicken & Dumplings and Gumbo are just a few of the dishes that I’ve always wanted to try. Recently I made Pumpkin Pie and it was really delicious, but how I wish I could eat it there, made by Paula Deen or the like.
I’m also constantly on Martha Stewart’s website. There is NOTHING you can’t find on that site, she even has a recipe for Good ol South African Bobotie. I was browsing through all the picture galleries when I saw a dish called Dirty Rice. Now, I’ve heard of this many times before, but I’ve never really paid close attention until now. I’ve always liked Cajun Cuisine (along with Greek food, Cajun was my late mother’s favourite food) and something about rice cooked this particular way, just spoke to me. I started researching it more and found that there are many different variations of this dish. All of them contained the ‘holy trinity’ of Cajun cooking, green pepper, onion and celery, and many had pieces of chicken, chicken livers or giblets added. I wanted my dirty rice to be an accompaniment, so I knew I would be omitting the meat. And I don’t eat green pepper so I knew that would have to go also. But I had mushrooms in the fridge so I figured, why not? This is not the traditional way of doing it, but I think it was a might fine attempt at such a traditional Southern dish. And definitely something I’ll try doing again.
I served the dirty rice with pan fried chicken fillets which I just flattened into oblivion, coated with seasoned flour and pan fried until they were nice and golden. I made a sauce in the same pan that I used to fry the chicken and this just brought all the flavours together. Once again, uncomplicated but utterly scrumptious food.
For the Dirty Rice:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250g mushrooms, chopped
2 tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
1tsp Ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup long grained rice, I used Basmati
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 cups Chicken stock (you might need a bit more)
Salt & pepper to taste
- In a pot, fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the spices and stir to combine.
- Stir in the rice along with the tomato puree and add the chicken stock, sugar and seasoning. Stir to combine everything then lower the temperature and cover. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and allow the rice to steam for 15-20 minutes, covered.
For the chicken:
4 large Chicken breasts, flattened
1 cup flour
Black pepper to taste
- Combine the flour with all the seasonings. Dip the flattened chicken in the flour mixture and pan fry until golden and cooked.
For the sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup Milk with 1tbsn cornflour mixed in
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pour the chicken stock into the same pan that you fried the chicken in. Allow to reduce for about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the cream and milk mixture and allow to thicken slightly. Season to taste and serve over the chicken.