We ate chicken and sausage rice and gravy (see above), steak rice and gravy, gumbo with rice, the one tomato soup my mom made was eaten with rice, smothered pork chops and cabbage over rice, any bbq had a side of rice dressing, boudin is made with rice, crawfish ettouffee over rice, catfish court bouillon over rice, jambalaya (you guessed it, made with rice)... a culture of rice, get the idea?
I think some of the best rice comes from Louisiana. I may have to smuggle some home next trip, which is in less than one month! For this recipe I used the organic enriched rice from Whole Foods... I know yupville, but the rice is pretty good. We were getting the rice from Casa Lucas for many years but the texture is wrong in that it tends to get extremely soft and the grains lose their integrity.
Ideally you want to use a whole cut up chicken for this recipe because the bones and the skin of the chicken give the dish flavor. I only had some skinless, boneless thighs in the freezer so that is what I used. I never had this red cabbage and carrot side growing up, we always had smothered pork chops with cabbage (see above list), but I had some red cabbage and carrots on hand, so a side dish they became.
Cabbage and Carrots
- one small head of red cabbage, cut into shreds
- 3-4 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 an onion, chopped
- teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 2-4 sprigs of thyme
- salt and pepper, plus Tony's
This is the easiest thing ever. Saute the onions in oil until they begin to brown. Stir in the carrots and mix about, stirring infrequently for 5 minutes. Add in the cabbage and thyme. Cook this over med/low heat until veggies are soft. The cabbage should give off a fair amount of water but if it doesn't and things look dry in the pot, add water to braise/smother the vegetables. Add seasonings to taste at the end of the cooking time. Remove thyme stems before serving.
Next, make some rice according to the directions on the bag!
Chicken, Sausage Rice and Gravy
- once whole chicken cut into pieces, or in my case skinless, boneless thighs
- two links of andouille sausage or other spicy sausage, cut into slices
- 1 onion, chopped
- chopped parsley
- one teaspoon flour
- salt and Tony's
- vegetable oil or saved bacon grease, my new best friend
Heat about a teaspoon of oil and a bit of bacon grease (for flavor!) in a heavy bottomed pan. Brown the chicken pieces. Be careful if the chicken is in anyway wet, there will be grease flying. Don't be too quick to turn the pieces, let them crisp a bit. You can sprinkle a light dusting of flour over the chicken at this point if you like. Do not over crowd the chicken, brown it in batches. When all the chicken is browned, season with salt and Tony's, throw in your onions and sausage and stir away, scraping up any yummy chicken bits from the bottom of the pan. At this point add about a half inch of water, stir and cover. Cook on a low to medium heat until chicken is cooked through, adding water when necessary and also stirring in flour towards the end of the cooking to make the gravy. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over rice.
This is some of the jalapeno vinegar I made awhile back. Feel free to put a little of this over everything.
And in other news... Mardi Gras, P.'s homemade King Cake, downhill skiing at Tahoe (first time ever-we rocked the baby slope), Erykah Badu concert in Oakland with Dave Chappelle as the MC! (resulting in one of those "I promise not to drink again" hangovers the next day), walking in McLaren park with wild flowers and shaggy mane mushrooms abounding, burger and beer at the Ramp on a sunny Saturday, buying seeds and making plans for a summer balcony garden.