I have a weak spot for Cajun cooking and my occasional forays into this wonderful regional cuisine from Louisiana almost always includes variations on Gumbo or Jambalaya.
These dishes scale up nicely so if you have the pots and the ingredients, you can whip up double and triple batches and feed your entire neighbourhood!
Here is a spin on Jambalaya that borrows from a Creole gumbo recipe that I have kicking around.
1 1/2 lbs Chicken breast cut into bit sized pieces.
12 oz hot Italian Sausage, Andouille or Chorizo – whatever is on hand
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 cup Bell pepper
1 cup Celery
2 cups Swiss chard – chiffonade
2 cloves Garlic
2 cup Onion
1 Parsley, Fresh
1 tsp Thyme, dried
1 14.5-oz can Tomatoes, with juice
Canned or prepped Goods
4 1/2 cup Chicken broth
1 6-oz can Tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Pasta & Grains
2 1/2 cup White Basmati rice
Baking & Spices
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Oils & Vinegars
2 tbsp Canola Oil
In a large pot, or Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon oil, the sausage, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook for 15 minutes.
Remove sausage and place on platter – cut into bite size pieces when cool.
Add chicken to cooking pot and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.
Drizzle another tablespoon of Canola oil into the pot and then add onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender or translucent. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
Place chicken and sausage back into the pot.
In a small bowl combine remaining 1 teaspoon salt, ½ tsp pepper, thyme, basil and cayenne pepper. Toss to combine.
Add seasoning mix, Worcestershire, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes to the meat and veg. Stir to combine.
Next, place rice and 4 ½ cup broth in the pot. Stir to completely combine. Over medium heat, wait for the ingredients to come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let jambalaya simmer for 15 minutes. Added chopped oysters and Swiss chard. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Check on the jambalaya at the 25-30 minute mark and see if it needs additional liquid. Stir occasionally to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot.
Once rice is completely cooked, serve immediately with fresh parsley and enjoy!