Wednesday, February 7, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Light Touch
Jambalaya recipe with mushrooms

Associated Press

Jambalaya, a Creole New Orleans dish with its roots in France, can be made with less than a pound of chicken, or with none, in this low-fat version. Sliced mushrooms add a meaty texture to the recipe. If you add an additional pound of mushrooms, you can leave out the chicken.

"Many vegetables offer the mouth feel’ we associate with meat," says Melanie Polk, director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research, which encourages eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, since studies suggest it can reduce the risk of cancer.

Chicken and Mushroom Jambalaya

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut in  1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups brown rice (long grain)
  • 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-ounce package sliced portobello mushrooms, cut in thirds
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion, peppers and garlic until soft, about 4 minutes.

Place flour in a paper bag. Add chicken and shake to coat pieces with flour. Add chicken to pan. Discard bag and excess flour. Cook chicken pieces until they are white and flour has slightly colored, about 4 minutes, stirring to turn chicken.

Stir in the rice. Add tomatoes, broth, thyme, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

When the rice mixture has cooked 30 minutes, add mushrooms, arranging them on top of rice mixture. Pour in 2 cups water. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook until rice is done, about 30 minutes. Stir in scallions. Let sit 5 minutes for rice to settle. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 428 calories, 7 grams fat.

Note: To make the meatless version, replace the chicken with a second 6-ounce pack of sliced portobello mushrooms and reduce flour to 2 tablespoons.

Divide the mushrooms into four batches and sear each over high heat until brown in the oil in the dutch oven or skillet. Remove each batch when browned, and reserve. Then saute onion, peppers and garlic in pan, as above. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Continue with recipe as above. At the step when mushrooms are added, arrange all of them on top of the rice mixture. Continue recipe with step of adding 2 cups of water, and complete as above.

Nutrition information per serving: 357 calories, 7 gram fat.

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