In Colombia we make a traditional rice and chicken dish called ‘Arroz con Pollo’ which happens to be one of my favorite typical dishes. Similar to Spanish ‘paella’, arroz con pollo is a mix of rice, vegetables and in this case, chicken. Given my love for paella and arroz con pollo, when I discovered the distant cousin to these dishes, Jambalaya, I was in heaven. It is a great dish with a little spice so each bite is a burst of wonderful flavor. I have made a few variations of Jambalaya but this is my favorite. It is a Creole jambalaya since it contains tomatoes. For best results, use a large cast iron pot (or dutch oven) and save the leftovers for later…it reheats very well. I would argue this is one of those dishes that sometimes even tastes better the following day. Give it a try!
2 lbs boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1 lb smoked sausage
2 tsp minced garlic
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lg red pepper, sliced
1 lg green pepper, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
3.5 cups of chicken broth
2 tblsp of Creole mix (you can find it in the spice section)
1 tsp cumin
2 cups long grain white rice
Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the chicken thighs and cook until slightly browned. Once cooked, set aside on a plate.
In the same pot, add onion, celery, garlic, sausage, cumin, and Creole mix. Saute for 5 minutes. Add green and red peppers and saute for an additional two minutes. Add the broth, diced tomatoes and the rice to the vegetable mix. Stir. Using your hands, shred large pieces of the cooked chicken and add them to the rice and vegetable mix. Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes (without stirring or uncovering the pot). Serve in large bowls.