Mark Boudreaux’s Cajun Jambalaya

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Recipes
Tags: ,

Jambalaya, a Cajun/Creole dish, is perhaps the most versatile main dish that Louisiana has to offer. The most important thing with this dish is to use the right equipment; any heavy bottomed cast iron pot or Dutch oven.

jambalayaIngredients

1 pound Andouille (Cajun) or mild smoked pork sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, cubed
1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild)
1 pound cubed ham
2 cups onions, diced
1 cup bell pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup Old Bays Seafood seasoning (in all), divided
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp red pepper
3/4 tbsp thyme leaves
3/4 tbsp basil leaves
3 to 4 medium bay leaves
5 cups chicken stock
1 beer
3 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Season chicken thighs generously with Old Bay the night before.

Use high heat to preheat the pot and add the sausage. With a large spoon, constantly move the sausage from the bottom of the pot. Brown the sausage but be careful not to burn the meat; remove sausage.

Using excess sausage drippings, brown the chicken on all sides (you may need to add some oil to pan to sauté). Again use the spoon to scrape the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to over cook the thigh meat to the point that it shreds; remove thighs.

Add Italian sausage and start to brown adding onions and bell peppers when sausage is halfway browned. (You may need to add a little oil again).

Add red, black and white peppers to mixture and cook until veggies are translucent, about 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat. Again use the spoon to scrape the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.

Add the ham and garlic and cook for another minute stirring and scraping bottom of pot to not scorch garlic. Add the remaining Old Bay seasoning, thyme, basil and bay leaves; stir. Return chicken and sausage to pot; mix and fold. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. This will give the seasonings time to release their oils and flavors.

Add beer to deglaze pan scraping about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice and fold in. Return to a slow boil and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes stirring and scraping pan bottom so rice does not stick and burn to pan bottom; mix in parsley. Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer, covered, for at least 30-35 minutes. Do not remove the cover while the rice is steaming.

After uncovering there may be some liquid remaining on top. Fold the rice in (DO NOT STIR). Turn off heat and let stand till liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaves. Enjoy!

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