Creole Chicken and Ham Fried Rice

This fried rice, studded with sautéed chicken and smoky ham, is softer and moister than the Asian version. Any kind of long- or medium-grain white rice works nicely here.

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  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 large scallions, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Hot sauce, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned all over, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the red pepper and half of the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry over high heat until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ham, paprika and cayenne and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the chicken, rice, shrimp and water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and let stand for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Transfer the fried rice to a bowl, garnish with the remaining scallions and serve with hot sauce.

Suggested Pairing

A soft and fruity Chenin Blanc from California or South Africa will contrast with the smoky and lightly spicy flavors of this dish.

Contributed By Photo © Antonis Achilleos Published October 2001

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