Cajun Jambalaya

Internet, we haven’t been doing so great with the diet foods lately. We’ve eaten pizza a couple of nights recently and had a round of buffalo chicken nachos (coming next week).

But, we have been pretty good about our portion sizes and that is helping to keep our waists trim.

Portion sizes are especially good to keep in mind when you are attempting Cajun Jambalaya, because it makes A TON OF FOOD, that you WILL WANT TO EAT!

You will srsly be able to feed a small army with this recipe. Also, it's very easy to increase in size.

You will srsly be able to feed a small army with this recipe. Also, it's very easy to increase in size.

A quick warning about this meal. It is a little labor intensive and will take about an hour to completely make. It’s not great as a weeknight dinner after a long day’s work. But if you got some extra time and need to feed a bunch of mouths on a Saturday, give it a shot.

This is sort of a dumb-ed down version of  jambalaya that found during my non shrimp eating days. Over the years I have modified it to become a Mike’s Original. In fact, that’s a good name for it. Mike’s Original Cajun Jambalaya. Perfect.

Like I said, this recipe DOES NOT include shrimp, or tomatoes for that matter. That’s creole-style jambalaya. I perfer the cajun for it’s simplicity and its tendency to be a little spicier.

Another disclaimer: This is not made in the traditional southern way. For that, you need a huge cast iron pot to mix all this stuff in. You let the chicken and the sausage stick to the bottom of the pot and scrape off all those yummy brown bits for color and flavor. If you got the pot, great for you. I don’t. Dems da breaks.

This recipe does require a short list of ingredients that can be a little pricey, mainly due to the fact you’re putting a lot of chicken and sausage in it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.5 pounds boneless chicken meat, 1 pound of sausage, three stalks of celery, a small onion, a green bell pepper, 32 oz of vegetable broth, three cups of uncooked rice, two cloves of garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt.

You need a VERY LARGE POT or other somesuch to cook this in and IT NEEDS A LID.

Normally, you would start by slicing the sausage into coins and frying them. But since I used smoked kielbasa, I just peeled it, cut it and set it aside. So, slice up your chicken into small bits and get them frying.

If it sticks, use a very small bit of olive oil to loosen it up.

If it sticks, use a very small bit of olive oil to loosen it up.

While the chicken is cooking, get to chopping. Dice the bell pepper, onion and celery and set it aside in a bowl. Once the chicken is cooked, throw in the sausage to get it nice and brown. While you’re at it, get the garlic starting to brown in the pan. You’ll want to do this before you add the veggies.

The veggies! Once the sausage is browned, throw ’em in to soften up. Give everything a good stir.

The goal here is to take the edge off the veggies and blend the flavors.

The goal here is to take the edge off the veggies and blend the flavors.

If you notice in the pictures, I am using a large wok to cook this in. I find it works awesome. However, because the wok has a small base, it has to go on a small burner. This makes the next step take quite some time. You’re going to need the vegetable broth. Throw in the entire amount with two cups of water, and all of your spices.

Bring it to a boil (using the lid helps).

This recipe originally called for 5 cups of rice!!! My wok, which holds about two gallons, was ENTIRELY FILLED WITH FOOD!!!

This recipe originally called for 5 cups of rice!!! My wok, which holds about two gallons, was ENTIRELY FILLED WITH FOOD!!!

Once you have a rolling boil, dump in the rice. This is where a little patience helps. The rice will take about 20 minutes to cook. You’re not going to see the results right away, so give it some time. The rice is sneaky and will soak up all of that liquid in the pot.

This was taken about 13-15 minutes into the boil. If it's soupy when the rice is tender let it stand uncovered.

This was taken about 13-15 minutes into the boil. If it's soupy when the rice is tender let it stand uncovered.

Unless you are cooking for five people, you will likely have leftovers. Feaston is still debating the merits of freezing rice-based dishes. We tend to think it will be OK, but the rice will fall apart. Still, it should taste fine just the same. If you have any other thoughts on freezing rice, tell us! Feastonian at gmail dot com.

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1 Comment

Filed under Dinner

One response to “Cajun Jambalaya

  1. Good Eater

    Yum! This was super easy to prepare and delicious. I used hot Italian sausage which was nice and spicy. Next time I think I would add some red bell pepper for color, and some red pepper flakes for some added spice. I love dishes like this because my husband and I can “doctor” our individual bowls to our liking…he loves killer hot sauce! I added Texas Pete to my dish and it was perfect.
    Thanks Feaston!

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