Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya
It’s Fun Cajun Friday again! I really hope y’all are enjoying this as much as I am. I think I’m probably getting the better end of the deal since I am not only making the recipes but the family and I get to enjoy eating this stuff every week. Definitely a PLUS for us.
So some of y’all are saying, “what is Jambalaya” and even more are saying “how on earth do you say that?” Well, I can answer both! A quick history lesson maybe? New Orleans’ early inhabitants were both French and Spanish. In fact they warred over the city at one point. You know how the area between roads and major highways is normally called a median? In New Orleans and maybe all of Louisiana, they call it the neutral ground because the Spanish controlled one side of the city and the French controlled the other with Canal Street being the divider. The ground in the middle was neutral…hence, neutral ground . There are all kinds of strange words used but it’s pretty cool to hear the different things that are said. Like Husbee will say “go put this in my locker”…and I look at him like he’s lost his mind thinking, you haven’t been in middle school in many-a-year…why on earth are you saying that? To him his CLOSET is his locker and everyone else in New Orleans. Weird huh? But I’m sure lots of you are thinking me saying “y’all” is weird so to each his own!
Anyway, I’m all over the place. Jambalaya (pronounced jum-ba-LIE-yuh) is a Spanish Creole dish of rice and vegetables (always the holy trinity in Cajun cooking which is onion, bell pepper and celery) and meats with spices. Either seafood or sausage (smoked or andouille) or chicken or even a combination. It seems like a lot of ingredients but once you’ve gotten your chopping done (and I use my trusty food processor) it’s super simple and oh so yummy. I’m eating a bowl of it cold as I type! It’s perfect for a weeknight meal or a football party. This is surely football food!
The ingredients are actually pretty simple even if the list is slightly long. I used smoked turkey sausage. I promise promise no one will ever be the wiser and you’ll be saving yourself the extra fat and calories. I also use a store bought rotisserie chicken. It makes this process really quick. You can have a pot ready in 30 minutes or less and everyone will be crazy impressed with your mad skills! We just have a problem at my house because we all fight over who is going to “pluck” the chicken. And by that I mean pull the meat off the bones. You could also use shrimp if you like but I would toss them in right at the last minute so as not to over cook.
Look at my cute little arrows! I found this blog today, Creature Comforts and have only had a chance to breeze through but clearly she is awesome! The arrow download and also a brush tool I used were free! Ok…back to the Cajun yum.
I hate onions. Shocking I know. How can someone love to cook as much as I do but hate such a key ingredient? I don’t know either but it’s the truth. So normally in most recipes I almost puree my onions so that to me they disappear but in Jambalaya chop your veggies fairly large. You want to know they’re in there and they’ll cook down a good bit.
Another thing I don’t like is the smell of garlic on my hands after I’ve peeled several cloves. It sticks for days no matter how many times I wash my hands. This is the very best way to get the peeling off and keep clean hands. If you already know this trick, just ignore me for a second or two.
The peel just comes right off. Most of the time all in one piece and you don’t even really have to touch it. Presto! No garlic funk hands for days!
Then I throw it in a garlic press to get it just the right size and still no touching.
Ok. Those of you who already knew this can look now.
I adapted this recipe from the secret family cookbook found by accident years ago. Here’s where you can read that story. While I was cooking I adjusted a few things and realized I needed these extra ingredients as well.
Ok so here’s the recipe. It sounds difficult. I mean look at the name…Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya…a mouthful. But TRUST me. It’s not hard at all! I wouldn’t lie to you!
- 2 lbs smoked sausage (TURKEY!), cut in small rounds
- 1 lb or mostly all of a small rotisserie chicken
- 3 cups roughly chopped onion
- 1 cup roughly cut chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cup roughly cut chopped bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- 3 cups rice (NOT quick cooking)
- 32 oz beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
Whew! Stay with me! I promise it’s not that bad. Just look…
In a large, heavy pot, heat oil and saute onion, bell pepper and celery with salt and red and black peppers until soft. About 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients besides sausage and chicken and bring to a boil. In a separate pan brown the sausage and then add to your large pot with everything else. Cook, covered approximately 15 minutes stirring frequently. Taste to insure rice is done. If you need to add a little more water to keep it from sticking that’s fine. Once desired doneness is reached, stir in the chicken and turn off the heat. Serve with hush puppies to the screaming crowd anxiously awaiting your yummy masterpiece!
What do you cook for your screaming crowd of football fans?