Single dish meals are the best, aren’t they? Weeknight dinners that require no sides or other extras to make a full meal are amazing. Not that you can’t pair this jambalaya with some other dishes. It’s great with some sauteed okra on the side. When I cooked the pictured batch, I paired it up with the aforementioned okra, and the last few seasonal sausages I had from The Salty Pig Sausage Co. here in Fort Worth. It added up to be one of those really awesome meals that looked like it took much more effort than it actually did.
This recipe calls for green bell peppers, but also a few red bell peppers. I didn’t actually use any red bell peppers in this batch, but some gorgeous, sweet Carmen peppers I picked up at the farmer’s market last weekend. The time before that, I made it with a bunch of assorted sweet peppers I pulled out of my own little garden. Given that, it’s worth noting that you definitely don’t need your peppers to be bells, but they do need to be sweet peppers.
- 3-4 red bell peppers (you can use other sweet peppers, but you may need more of them)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 large white onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 lbs. tomatoes (romas, or other paste tomatoes, work well)
- 1 small chili pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice (not parboiled or quick cook)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper (fine ground)
Bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil. Add brown rice to stock when boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
While waiting for stock to boil, chop peppers, onion, celery, and tomatoes into 1/4" pieces. Mince garlic.
Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onion, garlic, peppers, and celery (not tomatoes). Cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
Cut chicken thighs into roughly 1/2" cubes. Add to vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Pour remaining 1 cup of stock and chopped tomatoes into vegetable and chicken mixture. Stir, making sure to loosen and mix in any vegetables sticking to the pan.
Add seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, oregano, bay leaf) to chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir in rice and stock mixture. Cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
Serve as is, or with a little finely chopped green onion or parsley on top, if you prefer.
- To make less spicy, omit chili pepper.
- Additional or alternate proteins can be used. Cubed pork or sausage are good options that can be substituted in this recipe without notable alteration. Shrimp works also, but should not be added until the last few 5-10 minutes of cook time, then cooked until pink.