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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Recipe ..... For You !

Whether you take a trip to New Orleans or just wish you were there a good bowl of Jambalaya will evoke memories of Mardi Gras past !  New Orleans is a great place to visit and the food of that great city is yummy any time !  One of my favorites is Jambalaya !  Basically this dish is the Cajun version of Spanish Paella, only better!  Do not skimp on any ingredient, make it as spicy as you like and you will have a dish that will make you want to slap yo mama!


1        lb        shrimps, 21 - 25 count ( use the Easy Peel variety as they are usually deveined already )
2        ea       boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1 inch pieces
                    Cajun seasoning - use your favorite !
1        cup     onion, medium dice - divided use
1/2     cup     celery - medium dice - divided use
3        clove   garlic - minced
2        tsp      salt - divided use
1        Tbl      olive oil
8        oz       smoked sausage, such as Andouille or Polish sausage, 1/4-inch slices
1/2     cup     green bell pepper - medium dice
1        can     diced tomatoes in juice ( 14.5 oz size )
1        Tbl     Worcestershire sauce
1/4     tsp      dried thyme
1/4     tsp      cayenne pepper - to taste
3        cup     chicken stock
2        cup     long-grain rice  ( I use Uncle Ben's Converted Rice as it is not gummy when cooked ! )
1/4     cup     green onion - small slice

Peel your shrimps reserving the shells, set aside. Dice your chicken breasts, set aside. Season your shrimps and chicken with your favorite Cajun seasoning.

In a small saucepan add 2 cups of water, the shrimp shells, 1/2 cup of the diced onion, 1/4 cup of the diced celery and 1 tsp. of the salt.  Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer the shells until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup or so, approximately 8 to ten minutes.  Drain and reserve the liquid and discard the shells and vegetables.

In a large dutch oven add the oil and heat it until it shimmers, then add the chicken, browning it cooking for 5 to 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and add the sausage, green bell pepper, green onion, remaining 1/2 cup onion, remaining 1/4 cup celery, and the garlic, then cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the shrimp stock that you made and the chicken stock assuring that you have 4 cups in total. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of salt, the tomatoes with their juice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in the rice; simmer over medium-low heat, tightly covered. After 10 minutes add the chicken and cover to continue the cooking. After another 10 minutes add the shrimps and cook for 5 minutes more or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. The total cooking time should be about 25 minutes.

Remove the kettle from the heat and allow it to sit a minute or two. Sprinkle the jambalaya with green onion  before serving to rounds of applause !

 Laissez les bons temps rouler !

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