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A Creole creation, with dirty rice and sweetcorn

April 22, 2011
Served up with a pat of butter on the sweetcorn

Inspired by a recipe in one of my mother’s Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks, this is a great summer dish packed with flavour. It’s the first time we’ve tried okra (also known as ladies’ fingers or gumbo) and I’m childishly delighted by the star shapes it produces when sliced.

Sliced okra and romano pepper

Creole chicken with dirty rice and sweetcorn

Ingredients

Chicken
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/2 t hot paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 romano pepper, thinly sliced
7-8 fingers of okra, thinly sliced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 chicken breasts, roughly chopped

Fluffy and full of flavour

Dirty rice
160g basmati rice
1/2 onion, diced
1 romano pepper, sliced
4 chipolata sausages, sliced
1/2 t hot paprika
1/4 t English mustard
pinch cumin seeds
1 t oregano
5ooml chicken stock

2 cobs of sweetcorn

Method 

1. Fry the onion, garlic, bay leaf and spices in a deep, oiled frying pan, until the onion is soft

2. Add the peppers and okra and cook until just tender, at which point add the tomatoes and leave to simmer for half an hour

3. Cook 60g of the rice, drain and keep warm

4. Cook the onion, pepper and sausage with the spices and herbs, stirring regularly until the onion is soft

5. Add the chicken to the pepper, okra and tomato sauce and cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked through

6. Add the remaining rice and the stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering; the rice should be done at the same time as the chicken

7. Wrap the sweetcorn in foil and cook at 220°C in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes

8. Just before serving, stir the pre-cooked rice into the pan containing the rice, sausage and pepper.

Really rather delicious. The sweetcorn really pulls the whole meal together; the dish needs the fresh hit of the corn to lift it. I’m looking forward to cooking with okra again – I quite like the flavours in Creole cuisine.

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