southern · southern food · Uncategorized · what southern folks eat

My Top 3: Jambalaya

I have decided that one of my top 3 Southern dishes to make at home is this jambalaya. It is 100% comfort food, packed with protein to keep you satiated throughout chilly fall and winter days. It’s also one of those things, like a good soup or stew, that only gets better as it’s stored in the fridge, IF there happen to be any leftovers.

Yesterday in this post I said I would share the recipe I used to make this, and I’ll do that now, including notes as to what I’d do differently next time. (This was my first time ever to make it, using a recipe from a generous friend from Lake Charles who even gave me the Rabideaux sausage to make it with.)

rabideauxssausage

Jambalaya

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1/2 to 1 pound smoked sausage, like the aforementioned Rabideax’s beef/pork sausage.
12 ounce package frozen medium shrimp, raw, deveined. (I’d have preferred a pound, but it was only sold in 12 ounce bags at my store)
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
1 large or 2 smaller stalks celery, minced
1 bay leaf
Tony Chachere’s seasoning blend (or other favorite Cajun blend)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you don’t like it too spicy, start with a half teaspoon and work up from there)
2 small cans tomato paste, plus three cans of water
garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil

For the rice:
2 cups raw, long grain white rice
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt

To cook rice: Bring the water to a boil, then add the salt and the rice, and stir in well. When it comes back to a boil, drop the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 14 minutes. At the end of that time, test for your preferred amount of doneness. Drain off any excess water.
Method:

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, drizzle a tablespoon or two of oil. Turn heat to medium, and when hot, add chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper. Stir frequently, and cook until the vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Don’t allow to scorch! Watch it closely.

Next, remove the vegetables from the pot into a bowl and set aside.

Season the chicken generously with Tony’s seasoning.

Add the chicken to the pot, and brown it on all sides for a couple of minutes. (Doesn’t need to be cooked through at this point.) When browned, add to the bowl of veggies.

Now, add the sausage, chopped into bite-size pieces, to the pot, and brown it for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomato paste and the three cans of water to the pot with the sausage, and use a whisk to break it down into a smooth sauce. Add the chicken and vegetables back to the pot with the sauce and sausage.

Add a bay leaf to the pot. and two generous teaspoons of the Tony’s seasoning. (You can add more of this later, if needed.)

Now, at this point, you can let this simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or so. I needed to hold it for awhile, so I put it in my crock pot on low and let it simmer there for a few hours. Taste it as it cooks, and adjust seasonings as you like.

When you’re getting close to supper time, cook the rice. While it’s simmering, get out the frozen shrimp, and drop them into a bowl of cold water to thaw out. It only takes a few minutes. If your shrimp are tail on, like mine, you can start pulling the tails off if you prefer when they start thawing.

When they’re thawed, no shells or tails, season them with Tony’s, and some garlic powder. Then drop them into the hot jambalaya, and let them simmer there for about 15 minutes.

When the shrimp are nice and pink, they’re ready to go. Stir the rice and jambalaya together well, until it’s completely beautiful and red.

Dish that up and serve with some crusty garlic bread. Enjoy!

jambalayanbowl

 

Copyright 2018 Stephanie Hill-Frazier. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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