Jambalaya

jambalaya

In my attempt to stay lean for engagement photos in 7 months, I’ve been eating lots of chicken and rice. Chicken and rice sounds healthy, right? Especially since I only eat brown rice? Well, you be the judge, but my idea of chicken and rice is Cuban Chicken and Chorizo Rice, Chicken Korma, Vietnamese Roast Chicken with rice fried in chicken fat… annnd jambalaya. Yea.

It’s ok. I have seven months.

Tangent: If Chang wasn’t so busy all the time, I’d totally make him follow me around the kitchen and snap photos of the cooking process. One can dream. (Yes, I dream about being a “real” food blogger with a “real” camera and a photographer husband to boot.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast (8oz), chopped*
  • equal amounts of shrimp, chopped
  • Tony Cachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 10 oz Andouille sausage
  • 1 16oz can crushed/diced tomatoes
  • ~ 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

* Brined the night before is a plus

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Season chicken and shrimp with Tony Cacheres. Set aside with chopped sausage.
  2. Heat 5 qt dutch over/pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion/bell pepper/celery to pot and sauté until tender, 3 min. Stir in garlic and continue to sauté, 1 min, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in rice. Add spices and ~1 tsp more of Tony Cacheres.
  5. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, slowly add broth (about 2 cups for white rice, about 3 cups for brown) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and medium low. Cover and simmer 20 min for white rice, 40 min for brown (do not disturb as lifting cover lets out steam and stirring rice makes it goopy). Start out with less broth than you think you need. Easier to add than subtract liquid…
  6. Uncover and add chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Push into the rice so chicken/shrimp is just submerged. Add more liquid if rice is drying out. Recover and simmer, adding broth when needed. Another ~15 min or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.
  7. Mix and season with Creole seasoning to taste. Serve.

jambalaya2

Rice is about eyeballing it. Too many varieties of rice out there to give you the perfect ratio of rice:liquid and exact cook times. Just remember not to over stir as this releases the goop-factor (technical term). Doesn’t hurt to pick up a grain and munch to see how crunchy or soft it is. Brown rice typically needs 1:2.5 ratio of rice:liquid. We don’t eat white rice in my house but typically it’s 1:2. Cooking is an art, not a science! So get to it. You’ll figure it out along the way.

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