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Dirty Brown Rice

Hands-on time 28 mins
Total time 28 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

This Creole dish gets its name from the “dirtying” effect of cooking rice (typically white, but here updated to quick-cooking brown rice) with bits of chicken liver and/or ground meat. It’s a deeply savory, delicious side that goes well with crawfish, shrimp, roast chicken, or pork chops. Don’t fret too much about the chicken livers: They do a similar thing that, for example, anchovies do—They add umami richness but don’t contribute a pronounced “livery” taste. Serve with barbecue shrimp to complement the Creole flavors or try using leftovers as an omelet stuffing—delicious with a little pepper-Jack cheese.


  • 2 (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
  • 6 ounces cleaned chicken livers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Nutrition Information

  • calories 195
  • fat 5.4 g
  • satfat 2.3 g
  • monofat 1.1 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 9 g
  • carbohydrate 29 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • sugars 1 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g
  • cholesterol 105 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 227 mg
  • calcium 23 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook rice according to package directions; drain.
  2. While rice cooks, place chicken livers in a mini food processor; pulse until ground. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter; swirl until butter melts. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push vegetable mixture to outside rim of pan. Add chicken livers to open center part of pan; cook 1 minute without stirring. Cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir into vegetable mixture. Add paprika and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice, stock, and salt; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in green onions.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;