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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.