Our neighbor, Joel St. John, is a chef by profession. Now and then he delights us by bringing something he’s just whipped up or by inviting us to his house to dine. This is not Joel’s recipe, but is my version of how to copy the flavor of his.


4 chicken leg quarters ; skinned
1 1/2 tablespoon corn oil
1 onion ; chopped
3 celery ; chopped
2 Poblano Chile ; chopped
1 pound Andouille sausage ; diced
1 1/2 cups rice
28 ounces canned tomatoes ; chopped
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 bay leaf
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
6 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 350.

Season the leg quarters with salt and garlic powder, red, white, and black pepper and some onion powder. Grill until done. Remove to platter, debone and chop into a dice when cooled.

Begin heating cooking oil in cast iron dutch oven. Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add celery and poblano peppers. Continue cooking until the vegetables begin to soften.

In the meantime, in a separate pan, saute the sausage until lightly browned. Drain and set aside.

To the main pot, add tomatoes, reserving their juice in a large measuring cup.Pour can of tomato paste over into reserve juice. To vegetables, add seasonings to taste. Continue cooking and stirring the vegetables until well blended and soft. Add a bit of water or juice if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add enough water to the tomato juice – tomato paste mixture to make up 3 cups of total liquid. Stir into the vegetable mixture and bring to a light simmer.

Then add the rice and stir to blend. Add the cooked chicken and sausages. Cover pot and bake for 45 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

This can be finished out on the stove top if the heat is very low and you stir occasionally to prevent sticking. It may require the addition of some boiling stock along the way if done on the stove top.