Lowcountry Chicken Bog
- 3 ripe large tomatoes or 9 ripe plum tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on, but trimmed of any fat
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups uncooked converted long-grain white rice (I use Uncle Ben's)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the tomatoes and leave them for about 30 seconds (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Remove the tomatoes from the saucepan and drop into ice water to cool. Drain and peel off the skin. Remove the cores and seeds from the tomatoes and dice the meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss the diced tomato with the olive oil and season with pepper to taste. Reserve at room temperature until ready to use.
Heat the butter and peanut oil over medium heat in a medium ovenproof pot with a cover. Add the chicken thighs and saute for about 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Remove the thighs, season with salt and pepper to taste, and reserve. Pour off all the butter, oil, and juices except for 2 tablespoons.
Add the onion and celery to the butter and oil and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and rice and saute, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the garlic is soft and the rice is translucent.
In a small saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot with the rice and add the hot stock, the reserved tomatoes, the herbs, and the Tabasco. Stir well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken and rice are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. (Note that this is a most dish, not one where the grains of rice are dry and fluffy.) Remove the sprig of thyme and bay leaves. Check the seasoning for salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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