Around the world in 80 dishes No. 29: Jambalaya

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs (skin on, bones in)
200ml water
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
150g polish sausage chopped into small cubes
100g chorizo, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 spring onions, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
150g peeled small prawns

For the rice

1 litre water
1 chicken stock cube (see tips)
250g long grain rice

Method

This is a recipe given to me by my brother when he was at university in New Orleans, and it introduced me to the wonder that is Deep South cooking. Liquid smoke can be bought online. This recipe can be made without it, but it is a great addition to American recipes such as this. If you can't find Polish sausage, use a herby variety of breakfast sausage.

Put the thighs in a roasting tin and pour the water over them. Sprinkle with the paprika and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the rice. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan and add the stock cube. When boiling, add the rice. Stir until the water reboils and then turn the heat down and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Drain into a sieve and hold under running cold water to remove excess starch and cool it quickly.

While the rice is cooking, sweat the onion very gently, with the lid on, for 10 to 20 minutes until soft. Add the red peppers, chorizo and Polish sausage and cook for 10 minutes.

Mix the rice, onion/pepper/ sausage mix and prawns together with all the juice from the chicken pan. Add the pepper, celery seeds, liquid smoke, chilli flakes, spring onions and sugar and mix together. Turn into an ovenproof dish, put the chicken thighs on top and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, removing the foil for the final 5 minutes.

To serve, bring the dish to the table and spoon into warmed, shallow bowls.

Taken from 'Lucy's Food' (Hardie Grant, £20).

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