Anyone familiar with Cajun cooking may recognize the term “dirty rice.” It’s essentially a pilaf flavored with chicken livers or giblets and it is so named because it takes on a brown or “dirty” color.
In this recipe, boneless chicken fillets are stuffed with a combination of chicken livers and rice and flavored with plenty of scallions and toasted pine nuts. The chicken is then baked with a bit of white wine and the end result is moist and flavorful.
- 3 lbs. chicken (boneless skinless breast or thighs)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8 tbsp. butter or butter substitute, divided
- 1/2 lb. chicken livers
- 6 scallions or green onions, chopped (include 4 inches of green)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for serving)
- 2 cups cooked rice (in chicken broth is best)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Prepare your favorite rice according to the package directions. Cooking the rice in chicken broth instead of water adds a richer flavor. Set aside two cups cooked.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil and 4 tbsp. butter over medium high heat.
Add the chicken livers and sauté until all the pink color disappears, about 10 minutes. While the livers are cooking, use a wooden spoon to break the pieces down into smaller pieces about the consistency of ground beef.
Add the green onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
Add 1/4 cup white wine to pan to deglaze and then add toasted pine nuts, parsley and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue heating another 5 minutes for flavors to meld.
Remove from heat and stir in the cooked rice to the mixture. Set aside to cool slightly.
Pound the chicken breasts or thighs lightly on a cutting board until they are an even thickness. You don’t want them too thin, but you do want them to cook evenly.
Lightly grease a large baking dish or non-reactive pan.
Lay a piece of chicken with the “skin” side down. Place approximately a 1/4 cup of stuffing mixture on one half of the chicken. Fold the other half over to cover.
Note:If you are using chicken breasts and the pieces are larger, you may need to roll the cutlets into logs around the stuffing and secure with toothpicks. Chicken thighs tend to be smaller and will only make a single fold over the stuffing mixture.
Transfer the stuffed chicken pieces in the baking dish or pan. Drizzle the rolls lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then dot each piece with a pat from the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine to the pan.
Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven for approximately 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley for serving.
If you like, you can drain the pan juices and heat in a small saucepan to thicken for an easy sauce.