One of the reasons chicken and rice is such a world-class dish is because it can take on so many flavors, making it a signature of so many cuisines. Even when versions are not so great, they’re still OK, I reckon. It’s chicken and rice, people!

This particular recipe did not originate in the southwest corner of Louisiana or come from French-Spanish descendants of New Orleans. Rather, it builds on dried spices and herbs that so often appear in Cajun cooking: paprika, cayenne, oregano, garlic, onion.

But it pours on the milk, too, which gives the rice a risotto kind of creaminess and mellows the dish. The seasoned pieces of chicken are browned in the pot, just long enough to pick up color, and then they are returned to infuse the rice-vegetable mixture with their own goodness.

Humble comfort food can fill the bill, even when folks are attempting to fry eggs on the sidewalk. So eat this chicken and rice while it is warm, straight from the pot, and know that its flavor will hold up as cold leftovers, as well.

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