This beautiful state has seen several flags waving in our gulf breeze, each one leaving its culinary impression. We are enriched by each passing affect and inspired by their contribution. To satisfy my Louisiana soul today, what's better than one of our signature dishes, Jambalaya. The Spanish dish Paella is not so terribly dissimilar from our Jambalaya. And that's what I want.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Note: I usually use pork butt, chicken and Andouille for my pot of Jambalaya, but today I omitted the pork. It's great no matter how you define it. And if you don't have a crowd over for dinner, downsize to accommodate your need. It also doubles easily for a really big gathering. This kind of recipe is completely subjective to the number of hungry folks you're feeding and so easily tweaked.
1 tablespoon butter
1 whole chicken
1 pound Andouille sausage
1 very large onion (or 2 medium)
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
2-3 stalks celery with leaves
3-4 cloves garlic
4-5 cups chicken stock
2 cups raw rice
2 or 3 green onions
Shrimp (totally optional)
Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce
Cut the sausage into slices and set aside. Section the chicken into pieces and very lightly salt each piece. Into a large dutch oven add a splash of olive oil and the butter. Toss in the sausage slices and cook until lightly browned, not long at all. Remove sausage to a platter.
|Chicken browning up nicely in a steamy pot|
I use the other chicken pieces for stock. You can simmer them right there and then or put in the freezer and cook later on.
Cook all sides of the chicken until nicely browned and crusty bits form on the bottom of the pot. Remove to the platter with the sausage, cool and de-bone the chicken pieces. Sprinkle in the chopped Louisiana trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper.
|Louisiana's favorite trio|
|Every bite, good as the first!|
One last word: This recipe is so much one's own interpretation of how it should taste and what should be included. There is a ton of Jambalaya recipes that include tomatoes. And I'm not opposed to that as long as it's just a little and absolutely no tomato sauce. That's a "whole 'nother deal" as some might say. Plus, the addition of shrimp or other seafood is not a pivotal ingredient. If you like it, by all means. If you don't, that's good too. As for the moisture content, I do not like really dry Jambalaya. I think allowing the pot to "steep" so to speak, while the rice is still slightly undercooked makes for a much more pleasing texture. There is one cardinal rule, however. Stir only when absolutely necessary. Don't fuss over it with spoon in hand stirring the pot. It's a great recipe you can make your very own by defining it as you wish.