Chicken Jambalaya

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 230 minutes
Servings: 6

In this classic dish of New Orleans, both the chicken and the rice cook to a wonderfully tender finish. The peas and shrimp are added toward the end, emerging vividly colorful. For a final fresh touch, sprinkle green onions and parsley over the top just before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of
      fat
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 oz. (90 g) cooked ham, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) white wine
  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups (14 oz./440 g) long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) medium shrimp in the shell
  • 6 green onions, white and light green portions, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Directions:

Oil a slow-cooker insert. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.

In a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. When the oil is hot, working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the ham, yellow onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to color, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the 1/2 tsp. salt, several grinds of pepper and the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, stock and vinegar, then stir in the rice. Nestle the chicken in the rice. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 3 hours.

Uncover and check to be sure a little liquid is still visible at the bottom of the cooker. If it appears dry, add 1 Tbs. water. Scatter the peas and shrimp evenly over the top. Cover and cook until the shrimp are pink, the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Transfer the contents of the cooker to warm individual plates or a platter, and scatter the green onions and parsley over the top. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top and arrange the remaining lemon wedges around the rim of the plate or platter. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).