Serves: about 4 persons

Prep time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Four cups rice

One small can tomato paste

Oil for frying

One chicken (and/or a pound or two of stew meat), chopped into bite-sized pieces

Two cups chicken broth or chicken stock, or beef broth or beef stock

One or two onions, finely chopped

Two or three ripe tomatoes, chopped

Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (to taste)

Chile pepper, chopped

For flavors

Garlic

Thyme

Bay leaf

Ginger

Cinnamon

Curry powder

Vegetable add-ins

Sweet green pepper (or bell pepper), chopped

String beans or green beans

Green peas

Carrots, chopped

Cabbage, chopped

Meat add-ins

Cooked ham

Shrimp or prawns (or dried shrimp or dried prawns)

Garnishes

Fresh parsley, chopped

Cilantro, chopped

Lettuce, shredded

Hard-boiled egg, sliced

Preparation

  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet Stir-fry the chicken (or beef) in the oil until it is browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the oil and set aside. Add the onions, the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and one or two of the flavoring add-ins (if desired) to the skillet and fry the mixture until the onions begin to become tender. Remove the onion mixture from the skillet and set aside with the meat.
  • In an oven or large covered cooking pot, bring the broth and two cups of water to a simmer. Place the meat and onion mixture into the pot and cover.
  • In the same skillet used for the meat and onions, stir-fry the tomatoes and one or two of the vegetable add-ins. Continue frying the mixture until the vegetables are partly cooked, then add them to the meat, onions, and broth in the pot.
  • Again in the same skillet, combine the rice and the tomato paste. Over low heat, stir until the rice is evenly coated with the tomato paste. The rice should end up a pink-orange color. Add the rice to the pot and stir gently.
  • Cover the pot and cook the mixture over a low heat until the rice is done and the vegetables are tender (maybe half an hour). Stir gently occasionally and check to see that the bottom of the pot does not become completely dry. Add warm water or broth (a quarter cup at a time) as necessary to help rice cook. Adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, add one of the meat add-ins while the dish is cooking. (Shrimp cook very quickly and should not be over-cooked or they will become tough; ham can be added at any time.)
  • Serve with one or two of the garnishes.

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