Cast Iron

Creole Chicken with Mushroom Dirty Rice

Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This recipe is a take on the Louisiana classic, dirty rice. The quick mushroom stock made from dried porcinis, the king of mushrooms, and the fresh mushroom varieties used in this recipe create a dish that is firmly grounded in its rich earthiness. It is an ode to my favorite ingredient and will delight every mushroom lover. The creole seasoning used here is adapted from Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning. The recipe below makes more than you will need for this one recipe, but it keeps well in an airtight jar. For the tomatoes, I used some that I jarred last summer but good-quality canned tomatoes will do just fine. Just make sure they are nice and juicy. —Jenny Huang | Hello My Dumpling

Test Kitchen Notes

A variety of mushrooms incorporated in this basic jambalaya dish imparted an earthy flavor note to the rice. The Creole chicken thighs, however, were seasoned just on the surface. Next time I make this dish, I will soak the chicken for a few hours in a solution of salt, sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder so that the flavor seeps down to the bone. —lulu

  • Serves 5
  • For the creole seasoning:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • For the chicken and rice:
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 5 bone-in, skin-on free-range chicken thighs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 5 teaspoons creole seasoning (see Step 1), divided
  • Grapeseed oil, to oil
  • 3 cups assorted mushrooms, such as maitake, shiitake, and oyster
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 serrano chile, diced
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes, juice and all
  • 1 cup long grain rice, such as basmati
  • Thinly sliced scallions and parsley, as garnish
In This Recipe
  1. To make the creole seasoning, combine all the spices and mix well.
  2. In a small saucepan, make a quick mushroom stock by covering the dried porcini mushrooms with 1 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, season both sides of the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 teaspoons of the creole seasoning. In a medium-sized cast iron pan or any heavy bottom pan, heat up a thin layer of grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Take out of the pan and set aside.
  4. Roughly chop up the fresh mushrooms and the porcini mushrooms that have been soaking. Make sure to reserve the porcini mushroom liquid, but filter out any soot. In the same pan that you used to brown the chicken, add the fresh mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Sauté over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from pan.
  5. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they are translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Next, add in the celery, green bell pepper, serrano chile, bay leaves, fresh oregano, and fresh thyme. Season with the rest of the salt and creole seasoning. Sauté until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Toss your mushrooms back into the pan, mix well. Add the crushed tomatoes, rice, and reserved porcini stock. Make sure you stir and coat each grain of rice with the spices and all the yummy vegetable juices.
  6. Lay the chicken on top of the rice mixture skin-side up. Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cover completely and cook for 30 minutes. After that time, turn off the heat and allow to sit covered for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Serve the chicken, fluff the rice, and serve topped with generous handfuls of scallions and parsley.
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