Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jambalaya

A few years ago, I worked under a boss with Creole ancestry.  I have always enjoyed Creole and Cajun cuisine and I asked him if he had any great recipes to share.  He directed me to a couple of excellent cookbooks and gave me his family recipe for jambalaya.  I have made a few adaptations in the version you see here, but the flavor is very much the same as the original recipe he gave to me.  I can't take credit for this recipe but I won't mention his name on my blog, as I don't know how he may feel about that.  I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my family do.



Jambalaya

1 – 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut up
1 t paprika
1 T olive oil
1 c onion, chopped 1
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced 3
2 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes, blended 2
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth 3
1 cup long-grain rice 3
2 t dried celery flakes1
2 t thyme
1 t seasoned salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ t hot pepper sauce
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

Sprinkle chicken with paprika.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, garlic and chicken.  Saut√© until chicken is brown on all sides and onion is tender.  Stir in sausage.  Add tomatoes, broth, rice, celery flakes, thyme, seasoned salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce.  Stir to combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in shrimp and continue cooking about 5 minutes longer, or just until shrimp curls and turns pink. 
Serves 6 
 
Notes:  

1You can use 2 chopped celery ribs in place of the celery flakes.  I use celery flakes because I don’t care for celery . . . it is a texture issue.  You can also add 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper to the recipe.  If you use the fresh celery and/or bell pepper, cook with the onion.

2 The original recipe calls for stewed tomatoes straight out of the can.  This leaves large chunks of tomato in your jambalaya.  I have found that running them through my mini chopper significantly reduces the chunks making the dish more kid friendly.  It tastes the same either way.

 3 To make this recipe a little healthier, I use a low fat smoked turkey sausage, low sodium chicken broth and brown rice.

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