Recipe courtesy of Heather Whinney

Chicken Jambalaya

  • Yield: Serves 4-6
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Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

6 boneless chicken pieces (thigh and breast), cut into large chunky pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped 

1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped 

7 oz thick slices pre-cooked ham, roughly chopped

2 cups hot chicken stock for the slow cooker (3 cups for the traditional method), plus extra if necessary

1 3/4 cups quick-cooking long-grain rice

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Slow cooker method: 
  2. Prep, 15-20 mins; Cook, 20 mins precooking; Auto/Low 2-3 hrs
  3. Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Heat half the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, toss in the oregano and cayenne pepper, then add to the pot (in batches, if necessary) and cook for 6-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside. 
  4. Heat the remaining oil in the pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, and peppers, and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring. Transfer everything to the slow cooker, including the chicken. Add the ham and pour in enough stock to just cover the meat. Stir in the rice and peas, then season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid, and cook on auto/low for 2-3 hours or until all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring after an hour of cooking. 
  5. Taste and add seasoning, if needed, and stir in the cilantro, if using. Try serving with a green salad, green beans, plain yogurt or sour cream, and some crusty bread.
  6. Traditional method: 
  7. Prep, 15-20 mins; Cook, 1 1/2 hrs
  8. Heat half the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high-heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, toss in the oregano and cayenne pepper, then add to the pot (in batches, if necessary) and cook for 6-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside. 
  9. Heat the remaining oil in the pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, and peppers, and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the ham. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, season well, partially cover with the lid, and cook gently for about 40 minutes. Check occasionally that it's not drying out, topping up with a little hot water if needed. Stir in the rice, turning so it absorbs all the stock, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked, topping up with more stock if necessary. Add the peas for the last 5 minutes. 
  10. Taste and add seasoning, if needed, and stir in the cilantro, if using. Try serving with a green salad, green beans, plain yogurt or sour cream, and some crusty bread.

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