Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cajun/Creole Food Recipe: Jambalaya


1.5# bone-in chicken thighs (or about 1# boneless meat, cut into 1" cubes)
1 Tbsp oil
8-12 oz andoullie sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4" thick
2 onions, chopped small
1-2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped small (if you want more heat, you can add a seeded jalapeno or two)
3 celery ribs, chopped small
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 C long-grain white rice
1 Tbsp Dried Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 - 3/4 tsp Cayenne (I normally use the higher amount)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5 C chicken broth PLUS 1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice OR 2.5 C shrimp stock
(If you're not using seafood, use 2.5 C chicken or beef broth)
2 whole dried bay leaves
1# Shrimp (med to large, not tiny shrimp), peeled, deveined and sliced 1/2 horizontally (so you have 2 thin curly bits per shrimp) (If using any other seafood, cut into 3/4"-1" pieces)
For serving (optional but tasty): Minced fresh parsley, hot sauce, lemon juice or lemon wedges


Pat chicken skin dry, sprinkle salt and pepper, then heat oil in Dutch oven until hot (flick a drop of water in pan, if it sizzles it's ready). Put chicken, skin-side down in pan (watch your fingers!) and cook until well browned, 5ish minutes, then flip and brown 3ish more minutes. Put chicken on heat-proof plate, remove and dispose of skin (mmmm tasty tasty) and top with foil. (If you're using boneless red or white meat, brown meat and set aside in bowl.)

You want about 1-2 Tbsp fat in bottom of pan. (If you have too much, dump some out, too little, add some). Add sliced sausage to hot pan and brown (about 3 min). Dump sausage on paper-towel lined plate.

Heat oil again and cook down vegetables (onion, peppers and celery, also known as the Holy Trinity) until softened (5ish minutes), stirring well and trying to get the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Add rice, garlic, 1 tsp salt, herbs and spices and cook, stirring constantly until rice is coated with fat. Stir in tomatoes with juice, broth, clam juice, bay leaves and sausage. (Add boneless meat here and stir).

Put chicken, skinned side down, on top of rice and bring to boil. DO NOT STIR! Drop the heat to LOW and cover, cooking 15 minutes. (If you are using a power burner, take it off this burner and put on another one! DO NOT LIFT LID DURING THIS PERIOD.) Now, take chicken off the best you can, stir the rice well and put the chicken back on, and cook until the chicken is done (about 10 more minutes). (If using boneless meat, just stir and put back on for 5 minutes).

Take chicken out, put on plate. Add shrimp (or other seafood) to pot, cover and cook 5 minutes or until cooked through (if using fish, cook about 10 minutes).

While the shrimp is cooking, shred chicken using 2 forks. When shrimp is done, take off stove, stir in chicken and remove bay leaves. Serve with parsley sprinkles on top with hot sauce and lemon juice (or lemon wedges).

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