O.K., it’s a Sunday (my cookin for the week day), and I’m “Food” bored. It seems that I’ve been cookin and eatin’ the same old “stuff” for the last few weeks and have had a craving for something different. So, what do you do, go food shopping of course, and hope that you’ll get some inspiration. So I went to my local supermarket and spent about 10 minutes just puttering around trying to come up with something to cook. I finally made it to the Seafood department, and saw that 21 – 30 count shrimp were on sale for $6.00 / pound and a light went off, Jambalaya. I have no idea why this would have happened because I’ve never cooked this in my life! So, I went back to the produce department and started picking up the fixin’s, as well as could remember them. This is a dish that I researched a couple of months ago, and never had the opportunity to make it.
Now you may notice that I’ve gone astray from the common ingredients in this dish. I’ve used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I just could justify paying $2.99 / pound for chicken breast, when I could buy these at $0.99 / pound. An offshoot of this is that I tasted one of them as I was taking them out of the pot, then tasted again, then once more before I put a stop to it. they were soooo good that I see another recipe comin’ on.
I also started this pretty early today, in order to let the boat cool down a bit before my company arrived. This was pretty cool, because, since I’ve been smelling it cooking for the last hour or so, I just couldn’t resist a sample. I ladled a little bit of all the ingredients into a bowl, grated some fresh romano cheese on top, and went at it. I gotta tell ya, I WAS IMPRESSED ! I can’t wait to try it with the shrimp and rice in it. It’ll be a serious one pot meal.
So now it’s about 1/2 hour prior to my guests arriving and it’s time to on and get it finished off with the rice, chicken broth, and shrimp.
It came out REAL good, and we all decided that we couldn’t come up with anything different to do to make it better. It has just a little bit of heat, and all of the flavors have blended real well.
- 1Cut sausage into 1/2" chunks. Get some oil going in the pot you’ll be cooking everything in, and brown the sausage. Remove from the pot. I use an 8 quart pot.
- 2While the sausage is cooking:
- 3Cut the chicken into chunks, 1/2 at a time ( you don’t want to crowd the pot, or the chicken will steam instead of brown) and brown in the same pot, adding additional oil if you need it. Remove the chicken and reserve with the sausage.
- 4While the chicken is cooking, you can start chopping the vegetables. “Charlie Pepper” is a real hot Thai.. pepper that has a 25 minute afterburn. I’m sure you don’t have a plant, so you can use dried peppers that or thinner than a pencil and about 2" long. Just put them in a blender and blend with enough water to make a puree", then add it to the pot. Turn the pot down to a medium heat, add additional oil, if needed, and dump in the vegetables.
- 5Cook the vegetables aver medium / high heat, covered, until they’re soft.
- 6Add the tomato paste and stir until it’s all incorporated. Add the sausage and chicken back into the pot, then the tomatoes and simmer for about 45 minutes. Or, until the meat is cooked through.
- 7At this point, you can either continue, or, turn off the heat, and finish it off the next day, or later, if you’ve gotten finished too early.
- 8Either the next day, Later, or, as the next step. Bring the pot back to boiling.
- 9Wash the rice well to get rid of the excess starch that’s on the outside of each grain. I do this by placing it in a fine meshed strainer, holding it under running water, and stirring it with my hand until the water runs clear, then add to the pot along with the chicken broth.
- 10Bring it back to a boil, add the shrimp, bring it back to a boil, then turn down to simmer, covered. Cook for an additional 25–30 minutes stirring every once in a while to keep the rice from settling on the bottom and sticking. Taste the rice to make sure it’s done. let it rest for a few minutes, then serve. Don’t worry if the rice hasn’t absorbed all the liquid, the resting will give it a little more time to soak into the rice.
- 11If you have any left over, don’t try to freeze it, I don’t think it’ll freeze well because of the rice. I save the left overs in plastic storage containers in the refrigerator. To reheat, place ht Jambalaya in a pot, add a little water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. It’ll come out as good as the first time you had it.
- 13“Butt Kickin’ Blacken” is available at www.capnrons.com, and contains neither salt nor sugar. You can substitute your favorite “store bought” blackenening seasoning, but be careful because these usually contain a LOT of SALT, and you’ll have to adjust the recipe accordingly.
Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.