Forgive me, dear readers. I was only supposed to take a couple of weeks off or so since my last post. (Those of you who follow this blog on Instagram probably figured out I was in India, where I was mostly visiting my grandmother, but also squeezing in some sightseeing and shopping here and there). I cooked and photographed this recipe about a week after I got back, but it also took me that much time to slog through some hefty jet lag that had me falling asleep in front of my TV at 9 p.m. each night. I’m only just back to normal now and re-energized enough to write blog posts.
So here I am presenting you with some jambalaya, though I’ll admit it’s definitely not the purest form of jambalaya out there. For instance, I used … chorizo when I couldn’t find andouille sausage. (That said, it appears I’m not the only one who’s done this). I also used a Martha Stewart recipe as my guide, though I increased the amount of spices and altered the cooking method a bit.
But this dish was a perfect way to battle a cold snap we had a week ago, and boy, was it tasty. The weather’s doing that thing where it can’t decide whether it wants to be spring or winter — and while it’s starting to feel a little more like spring now, I suspect there are still going to be a few cold and/or rainy days here and there, and this jambalaya might come in very handy right about then.
This jambalaya is the epitome of filling comfort food — one serving at a time was more than enough for me, though my boyfriend went back for seconds (which he’s prone to do). It may not be the most beautiful looking dish in the world, but if you’re craving something full of meat, rice and flavor, you’ve definitely found the right one here. Take a look at how you can make your own:
- Serves about 6
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium to large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 pound chorizo, cut into rounds
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven/heavy stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pot, season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and cut into bite-sized pieces. Keep to one side.
- 2. Add the onions, celery and green pepper to the pot. Let them cook for about five minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the sausage, cook for about three minutes. Then add the garlic and let it cook for a minute.
- 3. Stir in the stock, Old Bay, cayenne, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water; bring the mixture to a boil.
- 4. Add the rice. After about two to three minutes, add the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat and bring the concoction to a simmer after another two to three minutes have passed.
- 5. Cover the dish and allow it to cook for another seven to 10 minutes. (Remove the lid from time to time and stir occasionally — make sure the rice isn't settling too much on the bottom of the pot). The rice should absorb most of the liquid by the time it's time to stop cooking.
- 6. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered for about five to seven minutes. Then season with salt and pepper and serve.
A song about Paris by a Frenchman — shouldn’t I be picking out something more Cajun? Well, as I’ve said before — there are times when I like to pick something super obvious to go with the food and times where I’ll pick something random. I guess this falls somewhere in between. I’m less concerned about what the lyrics are meant to evoke here. For some reason, this song kept running through my head as I thought about this recipe and I suppose it has something to do with its rhythm — steady, but urgent, providing something of a sense of adventure. And there’s something about that feeling that’s perfectly suited for this flavorful dish, which could be considered something of a culinary adventure.