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Oven-baked chicken jambalaya by Sophie Wright

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 RSPCA Assured labelled chicken thighs
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (or equal quantities of cumin, paprika and dried herbs)
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 300g long grain rice
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g green beans, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 100g fresh peas
  • RSPCA Assured labelled chorizo (optional
    add this when you fry your onions if you are using it)

To serve

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Salad

This is super tasty and any left overs make a great packed lunch the next day.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Heat a large casserole dish on a medium heat and add half the olive oil.
  • Season the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning and lay them into the hot oil.
  • Fry for 3–4 minutes per side until the skin starts to turn golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  •  Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and add the peppers, onion, chilli and garlic (and chorizo if using).
  • Cook for 5–7 minutes before adding the remaining Cajun seasoning and the rice.
  • Coat the rice well in all the juices at the bottom of the pan, then pour in the hot stock and add the canned tomatoes.
  • Stir well and season before placing on a tight-fitting lid and putting the casserole dish into the oven.
  • Once your jambalaya has had 20 minutes of cooking time, remove it from the oven and stir well before adding the green beans and peas.
  • Stir again before adding the fried chicken to the top of the rice dish. Put the lid on the pan, place it in the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  • Check there is enough stock – you can always add a little more if it looks as if it is drying out.
  • Check the rice is cooked before serving with a wedge of lemon and a side salad.
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