Portuguese Dirty Rice – Arroz de Figado

Arroz de Mohelas Dirty Rice

Arroz de Figado – Portuguese Style Dirty Rice

This old classic recipe is on the comeback at upscale restaurants but I’ve been enjoying this dish since my mother taught me the recipe when I was a young girl. Who knew that a peasants dish would end up on the menu these trendy upscale high priced restaurants! It’s simple to prepare, full of flavor and very impressive to serve as a side dish. The “dirty” name comes from the dark sauce from the chicken livers which when cooked, create a brownish appearance to the rice resembling dirt. Enjoy!


1 pound chicken livers (washed and chopped into 1 inch pieces)

2 cups rice

1/2 small onion (minced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups water

1 chicken boullion cube

2 tablespoons white wine

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons salt

Parsley for garnish


Saute half of the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook until translucent. Bring water to boil and set aside. Add the rice to onion stir to coat the oil and cook for about 30 seconds. Add paprika, stir, and add the water and 1 teaspoon salt. Let come to a boil, cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Set aside until you prepare the liver.

Meanwhile add 2 tablespoons olive to a skillet. Add the remaining onion and the garlic and cook for about 1 minute on low heat until cooked. Add the chicken livers and let brown on all sides. Add the wine and chicken bouillon cube. Stir and cook for a few minutes until liver is fully cooked. Add liver to cooked rice. Mix well, simmer and let simmer for a few minutes to incorporate flavors. Serve with parsley as a garnish if desired.