Difficulty Level: Easy
As I write this my daughter is sewing herself a gold lame skirt for her Mardi Gras party. Being Canadian we never celebrated Mardi Gras, and not being religious, my family called it Pancake Day rather than Shrove Tuesday. My daughter went on a school trip many years ago to New Orleans at Mardi Gras time and absolutely adored the city, so now every year she hauls out her beads and has a party. And yes, she went to Emeril's restaurant in New Orleans and had duck for the first time, which she has loved ever since.
I've never really done any Cajun or Louisiana style recipes before, normally leaving that to Emeril. My husband loved this dish and it is going on my make again list. I used fresh organic sausage rather than smoked sausage, and my husband doesn't like dark meat so I used organic chicken breasts. You could use chicken thighs for a more economical meal. The rice turned out very soft, actually verging on mushy. If you want a firmer rice, you could cook it separately and then add it to the rest of the dish, but you would probably sacrifice some of the layering of flavour.
|2 tablespoons||olive oil|
|1 3 1/2‑to 4‑pound||chicken, cut into 8 pieces|
|2 cups||chopped onions|
|1/4 cup||chopped fresh parsley|
|1 tablespoon||minced garlic|
|2 pounds||kielbasa or other fully cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices|
|2 teaspoons||chili powder|
|1 teaspoon||dried thyme|
|3/4 teaspoon||cayenne pepper|
|1/4 teaspoon||ground cloves|
|3 cups||long-grain white rice|
|6 cups||chicken broth|
- Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Working in batches, add chicken and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to platter.
- Reduce heat to medium-high; add onion, bell peppers, parsley and garlic to pot. Sauté until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, bay leaves, chili powder, thyme, cayenne pepper and cloves; sauté until spices are fragrant and flavors blend, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir to coat.
- Pour broth over rice mixture in pot. Add chicken; press to submerge in liquid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and more cayenne pepper, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February, 1997.