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From Betsy at Recipelink.com, 08-17-2006
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Msg ID 3140488
MARDI GRAS JAMBALAYA

2 pounds skinless chicken thighs, fat removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 seeded green bell pepper, diced
3 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 cups defatted low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (recipe follows)
2 small bay leaves
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, rinsed
1 cup finely sliced scallion greens (optional, for garnish)
Hot sauce (optional)

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken (in batches, if necessary, depending on size of pan, so pieces aren't crowded) and lightly brown on both sides. (Browning will take 8 to 10 minutes if chicken is sauteed in one batch.) As chicken is browned, transfer pieces to a bowl.

To the leftover hot oil in the pan, add bell pepper and onions and cook until onions are golden and softened, about 8 minutes.

Add garlic and cook, stirring, until light gold, about 1 minute.

Stir in tomato paste and lightly cook until sugar in the tomato paste begins to caramelize and turn a rich mahogany color. Stir constantly, slightly decreasing heat if necessary to make sure tomato paste doesn't burn.

Gradually whisk or stir in chicken broth until mixture is well blended. Blend in Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, seasonings and bay leaves. Raise heat to medium to heat mixture until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

Stir in rice. Add chicken. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more broth or water if mixture becomes too dry before rice becomes tender. Check Jambalaya periodically to make sure liquid is simmering gently and that liquid hasn't cooked away before rice is done. Add more chicken broth if necessary.

Remove bay leaves. Check seasoning and add more cayenne, salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with scallions and with hot sauce on the side, if desired.

CAJUN SPICE BLEND:
1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper to taste

Notes from source: In New Orleans, Mardi Gras officially began on Jan. 6 (Twelfth Night or Kings' Day). The city is famous for its distinctive Creole dishes, which reflect the local influences of French, Spanish and African cuisines. Jambalaya is a hallmark of Creole cooking that combines rice with other key ingredients - green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and spices. This jambalaya is an updated, healthier adaptation of that tradition. You can substitute brown rice for the traditional white rice, to add to the dish's nutritional content.

Makes 13 cups
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research

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