While the hot-water tap runs, put the rice in a 2-quart saucepan. Add 2 cups hot tap water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir sliced scallions into cooked rice.
Meanwhile, put the oil in a large, deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Peel the garlic. Peel and quarter the onion. Trim and quarter the celery. Chop the garlic, onion, red and green peppers and celery. Transfer to the skillet, raise the heat to high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
While the vegetables cook, open the can or tomatoes and chop the thyme leaves. Add the tomatoes, thyme, chicken stock, bay leaves, wine and hot sauce to the skillet, cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, dice the ham. Add the ham, stir well, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the shrimp, stir well, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the chives. Add the cooked rice to the skillet, stir, cover and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and taste for seasoning. Transfer to soup plates sprinkled with the chives and serve with garlic bread or corn bread.
Adapted from Sam Gugino