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Cast Iron Pork Chops and Dirty Rice

Why This Recipe Works

To spice up a simple weeknight dinner, we looked to the South for inspiration, where seared pork chops and rice spiked with sausage, aromatics, and Cajun seasoning (called dirty rice) is a classic supper. Using a cast-iron skillet meant that the whole dish could be cooked in one pan, saving on time and cleanup. We started by using our preheated skillet to get an even sear on the chops. We then removed them from the pan and cooked the “dirty” flavor foundation for the rice—spicy chorizo, red bell pepper, and onion—before adding rice, garlic, thyme, and Cajun seasoning. Blooming the aromatics with the rice before adding the chicken broth boosted the zesty flavor profile of the dish. We then nestled the seared chops browned side up into the rice to maintain the flavorful crust while the pork finished cooking. With everything in the skillet, we simply covered the pan and cooked until the pork was done, then removed the chops to rest and continued to simmer the rice until tender and fluffy. The heat retention of the skillet ensured even cooking of both elements of this easy, flavorful supper.

4 (8- to 10-ounce) bone-in pork rib chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
¾ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
3 scallions, sliced thin
Nutritional Information

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Instructions

Serves 4

If you can't find chorizo sausage, use andouille or linguiça. Chili powder may be substituted for Cajun seasoning.

1. Cut 2 slits about 2 inches apart through fat on edges of each pork chop. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add oil and heat until just smoking. Place chops in skillet and cook until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate.

2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add chorizo, bell pepper, and onion and cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, garlic, thyme, and Cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer.

3. Nestle chops browned side up into skillet along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover, and cook until pork registers 145 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer chops to serving platter, brushing any rice that sticks to pork back into skillet, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let chops rest while finishing rice.

4. Cover skillet and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chops with rice.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.