Jambalaya (Creole style)

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There are just about as many ways to make jambalaya as there are ways to make chili. This is a Creole-style Jambalaya that uses tomatoes so it comes out with a sauce that is very red in color. I keep planning on playing around with recipes to make Cajun-style without the tomatoes, but this one is just so good that I never seem to get around to making it any other way.

Servings:
12
Preparation Time:
2 hours
Tools
  • A large skillet or dutch oven with a lid.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound chicken, cubed. (I go with breast meat)
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced on a bias. If you can't find any, just go with a hot smoked sausage.
  • 1 tablespoon oil.
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped. I tend to mix red and green peppers if I have them.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped.
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped.
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped.
  • 1 handful of crimini mushrooms, sliced.
  • 2 small cans tomato paste.
  • 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes.
  • 4 cups chicken broth. I prefer the boxed Swanson's Organic, it is by far the tastiest.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 2 cups water. (only required if you are using brown rice)
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice.
  • Salt to taste.

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika.
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne.
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
  • 2 teasspoons onion powder.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
Cooking Instructions
  1. Add the oil to the diced chicken and stir with your hand to coat every piece. Sprinkle on some of your spice mix and a pinch of salt onto the chicken, continue stirring to coat the pieces. Toss the chicken into the hot skillet to brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. Toss in the sausage to brown. Set aside the sausage and pour off most of the fat.
  3. Saute the onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms along with a pinch of salt in the same pan until the onions start to become translucent. At this point, stir in the tomato paste and let it carmelize a little bit while it coats the veggies. You have to keep stirring to keep it from burning.
  4. Add about 1 to 2 cups of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Scrape all those yummy brown bits off the bottom from cooking the chicken and sausage.
  5. Add the can of tomatoes, the rest of your spice mix. Simmer for about 10 mintes.
  6. Add the meat and simmer another 10 minutes. This is the point where you want to taste it and add salt if necessary. You can also add more of the spice mix if you want a little more heat.
  7. Add the rest of the stock, the water, the bay leaves and the rice. Make sure that you mix it thorougly. Bring to a low boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook covered for 45-50 minutes for brown rice and 20-25 for white rice. The rice should have absorbed most of the liquid by this point.
  8. Uncover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until it reaches the consistency you prefer. I like it thick, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
If you want a quick shortcut on the seasoning, you can buy the Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning Blend, but I prefer to have my spices separate from my salt. It is just far too easy to end up with too much salt in a dish like this if you consider the salt in all the various ingredients. Spice hunters does have a good Cajun blend that comes without salt, but it is hard to find and a little pricey.

As an option, you can add a half pound of shrimp, seafood or ham. Just raid your leftowvers to see what you have.