2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
3-4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (not green)
¾ cup thinly sliced scallion tops
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
½ cup chopped lean baked ham (about one slice ½ inch thick ham from the deli)
1 lb lean pork, cut into ½ inch cubes
6 smoked sausages, sliced ½ inch thick
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp chili powder
2 whole bay leaves, crushed
¼ tsp thyme
⅛ tsp cloves
¼ tsp dried basil
⅛ tsp mace
2½ cups long grain white rice
5 cups water
Before beginning, add all seasonings to a small bowl and stir thoroughly with a fork to mix.
In a heavy 7-8 quart pot or kettle, heat the oil over high heat. Brown the chicken thighs in the oil, turning frequently to ensure even browning and prevent from sticking. As the pieces brown remove them to a large platter.
When all the chicken is browned and removed, add the vegetables, parsley, ham, and pork to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables and pieces of meat are browned.
Add the sausage and seasonings and continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes more.
Add the reserved chicken parts, rice, and water, and mix gently but thoroughly.
Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to very low.
Cook for 35 minutes, uncovering from time to time to stir.
Remove the lid from the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes, raising the heat to medium. Stir gently and frequently to make sure that the rice does not dry out or stick.
This is an adaptation of Lucile McCook's adaptation of a Jambalaya recipe from "The New Orleans Cookbook." This is an amazing dish to serve guests, as it is super yummy and quite impressive, while not being all that hard to make. The hardest part is being organized and getting all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. This is also a fairly easy dish to increase -- as long as you have a pot big enough. I have regularly increased all ingredients by one third to serve a crowd (this JUST fits in my biggest Le Creuset pot).