Cast Iron

Creole Chicken with Mushroom Dirty Rice

May  1, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 5
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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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23 Reviews

chelseabythesea January 22, 2020
AMAZING!! will be making again soon
NLS August 27, 2019
Terrific! I needed to add a fair bit of chicken broth to finish the rice. And to keep the skin crispy, I finished cooking the chicken in the oven and then added the chicken juices to the rice before serving. The family deemed it “a keeper”. Thanks!
don August 22, 2019
Just finished making this. It was quite delicious and I worried about the amount of liquid but it was just right. Since I didn’t want leftover seasoning, I changed all of the seasoning tablespoons to tsps and all of the teaspoons to 1/4 tsps which worked out just right. If I did it again I would use 8 thighs considering the amount of leftover rice.
Jaxmccaff March 16, 2019
Made this tonight and loved it. Couldn’t find Serrano peppers so used jalepeno and it was quite spicy but very tasty. I also used brown jasmine rice and after reading people’s comments about having difficulty with the brown rice, I added some white wine and a little water. Cooked it for an 5 extra minutes before leaving the 15 minutes off heat and the rice was perfect. This recipe is a keeper!
STEPHANIE December 4, 2017
I will start by saying that I really hate it when people alter a recipe and then review it. But the finished product here was delicious way beyond my usual jambalaya recipe, which is very good. After reading reviews I did use regular white long grain rice, which will reliably cook in a sauce like this. The amount of liquid called for in the recipe is way too low--standard proportion is at least 2 cups liquid to each cup of rice (more like 3:1 for brown rice). So, I used a little over a cup of hot water to rehydrate the mushrooms and added all of it with the rice. I didn't salt the chicken, but lightly salted the mushrooms and vegetables. I tasted just before adding the rice and added a bit more salt before the rice. It cooked up beautifully on the stovetop on low in about 35 minutes with a 10-15 minute rest. The mushrooms and mushroom stock really are the secret to the depth of flavor in this very delicious dish. This is going into the regular dinner rotation!
DeeDee April 2, 2016
I loved this recipe! My family really likes flavorful & spicy dishes. I doubled the recipe and I added all of the creole seasonings. I made it late at night and then transferred it to my large crockpot. So, at step #6, I just put all of the ingredients from the Dutch oven into a preheated crock pot and submerged the chicken thighs a bit. The next morning, my rice was also al dente but by lunch time it was all perfect and the chicken was moist & falling off the bone! Fantastic!!
Hee Y. March 26, 2016
I had the same problem with the rice. In my opinion I would pre cook the rice and pour the sauce over. Also this recipe was way too salty. I love salt but this was too much. I would almost half the salt content and add while eating. But i really did love the flavor and the chicken thigh was amazing! Ps i did stick the thighs in the broiler to crips up the skin.
Christopher March 21, 2016
I had the same problem using Brown Basmati rice as some have had with other brown rice. It was a shame and delayed dinner by over an hour. Finally ate it crunchy :) That said, the Chicken needed an additional 15 minutes to be done. The flavors were intense and we really liked it. I will most likely par cook the rice to get it to almost done and then add it to the pot and cook as directed.
Joyce February 22, 2016
can you send me the amount of the soaking ingredients that you will use to soak chicken to the bone ??
Courtney C. January 6, 2016
Awesome recipe. I've made it twice this week.
Jenny H. January 6, 2016
That is so awesome to hear! I'm so glad you liked it. I hope you will go to my blog for more fun recipes!
Keely B. July 24, 2015
I tried this with brown rice and it failed. Not sure what I did wrong. I increased the water in the stock to 1 1/2 cups, cooked it in an oval dutch oven but after 45 mins of steaming the rice was still crunchy. I let it go an additional 15 with no luck. The mixture was soupy so I removed the lid and boiled it off but still, after over an hour the rice never got tender. So odd!
Jenny H. July 24, 2015
That is so strange! I will admit I'm no expert when it comes to brown rice as I was raised on white. After doing some research on the interweb, sounds like lots of people have problems getting brown rice to cook well consistently. I read on Saveur that brown rice is best cooked using the pasta method where you cook with a large amount of water and then the water is drained. The rice is then returned to the pot and covered with a lid and left to steam for an additional 10-20 minutes. Now for this recipe, we obviously don't want to drain the precious mushroom liquid so I'm thinking maybe the brown rice needs to be cooked separately. The chicken would cook with the mushrooms and veggies for the 30 minutes, probably with less liquid. Then add the rice to the chicken when it comes time for the steaming. If you give this another go, let me know how it turns out!
Jeff A. July 20, 2015
Hello Jenny,
If I use Thai Jasmine rice, will I need to add/remove liquid and would there be a change to the cooking time?
- Jeff
Jenny H. July 20, 2015
Jasmine rice should work just as well! It shouldn't require any changes.
Jeff A. July 20, 2015
Excellent. Thank you Jenny. Looking forward to making this.
Janine P. July 10, 2015
Does the chicken skin stay crispy when you cover the pan to steam the rice for 15 minutes?
Jenny H. July 10, 2015
No, it doesn't really stay super crispy. The skin is mostly there to add additional flavoring to the rice. I was thinking that you could probably remove the chicken from the pan before the steaming step, allow it to rest, and the skin would stay crispy that way. I would test this to make sure the chicken is done though.
andrew January 14, 2016
Yes. That worked great. The Chicken went in a warming drawer wrapped in foil and then under broiler for a few minutes right before serving.
Mark L. July 10, 2015
Would it be possible to replace the white rice with brown rice of some sort? What would need to change (if anything) in the recipe for such a substitution?
Jenny H. July 10, 2015
You totally can. I would use a long grain brown rice so that the grains aren't too sticky. Brown rice usually takes more liquid and a bit more time to cook, so I would play around with that. Maybe try 1/4 cup more water and a tad more dried porcinis when making the stock. Report back if you give it a try!
theresa M. July 10, 2015
one question. i've always been told cooking tomato in cast iron was not a good idea. is that idea incorrect?
Jenny H. July 10, 2015
That is definitely a common thing said about cast iron pans but as long as your pan is highly seasoned and not new it shouldn't be a problem. Feel free to use a dutch oven or pan with deep sides for this dish if you don't feel comfortable using your cast iron pan. Hope you enjoy the recipe!