Magnolia Chicken Jambalaya
- ACTIVE: 20 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Howie Velie, the chef and owner of Magnolia, in Scottsville, Virginia, makes his lovely chicken jambalaya with organic carrots, peppers and parsley from Dave Matthews's Best of What's Around farm and Star Label Chardonnay from Matthews's winery, Blenheim Vineyards. This jambalaya is only mildly spicy, which is true to the Creole tradition of favoring flavor over heat. Feel free to substitute shrimp or crawfish for the chicken.
- 1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3 small green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Hot sauce, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook until just al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain well, shaking out the excess water.
- In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the peppers, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and the chicken to the casserole and cook, stirring, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until nearly evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir in the rice. Add the stock, season with salt, pepper and cayenne and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until the rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and serve with hot sauce.
Virginia's warm, humid summers and moderate autumn months make for ripe, sultry wines, both red and white. Chardonnay, which chef Velie adds to this jambalaya, is a fine example.