Blackened Red Snapper With Dirty Rice
Spicy blackened snapper paired with fluffy dirty rice makes for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
griddle | fish | rice
Chef Amanda Turner of
in Austin, TX crafts a thoroughly Southern meal featuring red snapper from the gulf, which browns nicely on the
. Her homemade blackening spice is also featured in the dirty rice, adding more flavor alongside chicken livers and andouille sausage. Blackening spice is a staple throughout the South, especially in Creole and Cajun cooking. This version of the spice blend is heavy on smoked paprika, with notes of roasted garlic, mustard, and curry lending subtle complexity.
When cooked over high heat, the spices form a spicy, flavorful crust that permeates the flaky, mild fish. You can use the rest of the blackening spice to season chicken and other proteins, vegetables, or even popcorn. Chef Turner also recommends serving the fish atop buttery white grits for an equally delicious meal.
For the Blackening Spice:
grams smoked paprika (about 1 cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons)
grams curry powder (about ¼ cup)
grams celery seeds (about 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon)
grams coriander seeds (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
grams kosher salt (about ¼ cup)
grams extra-hot cayenne pepper (100,000 Scoville Heat Units), or regular cayenne pepper (about 2 tablespoons)
grams roasted garlic powder, or regular garlic powder (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
grams yellow mustard seeds (about 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon)
For the Snapper:
large whole red snapper, 4–5 pounds or 2 medium whole snapper 2–2 ½ pounds each (or 4 5-ounce skinless fillets)
Grapeseed oil, for cooking
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
lemon, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Parsley, chiffonade, for serving
For the Dirty Rice:
slices bacon, chopped
cup chicken livers, finely chopped
tablespoons grapeseed oil
pound andouille sausage, finely chopped
onion, finely chopped
ribs celery, finely chopped
green bell pepper, finely chopped
cups long-grain rice (Carolina gold preferred)
cups chicken stock or broth
tablespoon blackening spice (see recipe above)
scallions, thinly sliced
For the blackening spice, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until powderized. Set aside. You should have about 2 cups of the spice blend.
For the dirty rice, place a
over medium heat. Add bacon, cook until crisp, 3–5 minutes. Remove from pan, leaving rendered fat behind.
Add chicken livers and fry until slightly caramelized but not crisp. Remove livers and add oil, andouille sausage, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Season with salt and sweat until onions are translucent.
Add rice and stir to combine with fat and vegetables. Cook until rice smells toasty, about 3 minutes. Return the livers and bacon to the pan with the blackening spice, and pour in chicken stock. Taste liquid and season with additional salt if needed.
Cover and increase heat to high until rice mixture is simmering. Reduce heat to low and allow rice to cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice sit for an additional 5 minutes before fluffing.
While the rice is cooking, fillet the fish, removing the bones and skin. Portion into 4 equal pieces.
Lightly oil the surface of the griddle and lay the fish on what would be skin-side down, lightly pressing to ensure full contact with the heat. Drizzle with oil and sear until the fish is blackened (develops a dark crust), 5–6 minutes.
Gently flip the fish and brush with melted butter, then sear until fish is firm and cooked through, 2–4 minutes more. Transfer from the griddle to a Sheet Pan and brush with more butter and top with flaky salt.
Fluff the rice and adjust seasoning if needed. Lay down a bed of dirty rice on a plate and top with sliced scallions. Place fish on top, finish with lemon juice and parsley, and serve.