2 - 3 lbs meat (chicken, sausage, ham, and or shrimp)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks celery finely chopped
1 glove garlic, crushed
2 (15-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 cups water
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
Cook chicken (boil or pan fry). Left over roasted chicken is also fine. Boil and drain sausage.
Make a roux: combine oil and flour and brown until light brown. Add sausage or ham. Stir well; then add chicken, onions, bell pepper, garlic, and shrimp (if using). Cook stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add water,tomatoes, salt, thyme, Tabasco, and pepper. When water boils, add rice. Let mixture come to a boil again, stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and liquids have been absorbed.
Can add green onions and fresh parsley at this point and cook for 5 minutes longer.