This old Southern dish
is a nice alternative to a main course featuring pasta. The Dutch oven will keep
everything warm, rice holds heat beautifully and chicken thighs won’t dry out as
they sit in this well-seasoned mixture. Keeping the vegetables in large chunks
makes them recognizable for folks who want to know precisely what’s in the dish.
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. peanut (or olive) oil
boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 medium onions, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
long-grain white rice
1 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can 14
oz. low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbs. hot sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat oven 350º In a
Dutch oven, heat butter and oil over high heat until very hot. Add thighs and
brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Do not crowd pan. Transfer to a
plate, season with salt and pepper. Continue until all thighs are browned.
Leave oil in Dutch oven. Sauté onions and celery until softened, about 3
minutes. Add rice and cook until rice is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in
tomatoes, chicken stock, hot sauce, thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Return chicken
to pot and nestle down into rice mixture. Cover and bake until chicken and rice
are done and liquid is absorbed, 50 to 60 minutes**. Discard thyme and bay
leaves before serving. Check rice for seasoning.
And to be sure the rice
is completely cooked.
** I used bone-in, skinless chicken thighs and I
cut the vegetables in small pieces. It took almost 1 ½ hours for rice to be
done. Just check.
Abby in Atlanta