Weekend Eats: JAMBALAYA!
First let me start out by saying if you are from Louisiana and do not approve of my method of Jambalaya, please do not scold me in comments.
This is MY version of this dish and though a bit unconventional, the results are fantastic and it is one of my most requested dishes!
Stacey Snacks Jambalaya:
Seasonings: (if you are using Zatarain's rice, omit the seasonings or it will be too spicy) 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp kosher salt, black pepper and tsp of dried thyme
~ 2 links of andouille Cajun sausage, cut up
~ 1 onion, chopped
~ 1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper
~ 3 celery stalks, chopped
~ 1/2 cup diced canned tomatoes (or fresh)
~ 1 cup of long grain rice (or use a box of Zatarain's New Orleans Rice, but OMIT the seasonings)
~ 1 cup of chicken stock
~ 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
~ 2 tbsp minced garlic
~ 4-6 chicken thighs
~ 1 bag frozen large shrimp, defrosted, cleaned, shelled and cut in half
~ handful of fresh parsley
~ handful of frozen peas
~ green onions, chopped
The reason I say my recipe is "unconventional" is because I grill my chicken thighs outside on my gas grill instead of cooking them with the rest of the meats.
I have been doing it this way for years because I HATE the mess the chicken thighs make on the stove, especially if you are making this for a crowd. Trust me, it is excellent this way and easier, because you can grill your thighs ahead of time.
This weekend it was 35 degrees out there, but I put my coat on and grilled those chicken thighs anyway! What a trooper I am!
I sprinkle kosher salt on my thighs (sounds provocative) and grill them on medium low heat with the grill lid open so they don't burn, turning them once. About half hour.
When they are cool enough to handle, I cut the bone out and have large pieces of the dark meat chicken. Set aside.
(you can even do this in the a.m. if you like).
Now saute your onions, garlic and peppers (you can use any or all of this combination) in a little olive oil, and add your rice, seasonings and water and cook as per directions on the rice package. I add 1 cup of chicken stock instead of all water (also an option).
Simmer your rice and vegetables about 10 minutes with the cover on. After 10 minutes time is up, add your cleaned and shelled shrimp and andouille sausage & tomatoes to the rice mixture in the skillet. Simmer about another 15 minutes until the liquid is evaporated.
The last few minutes of cooking, I throw in some defrosted peas, and my chicken pieces and mix in.
Garnish with green onion and or fresh parsley.
You can omit the shrimp, but don't omit the sausage or chicken. I don't always use peppers or tomatoes, you can improvise. Sometimes I just do straight meat & rice!
It is easier than it sounds, because it only takes about half hour to cook, and you can even reheat it in the oven the next day. I have made this for 20 people, the day before and everyone loves it!
So all you Louisiana folk, please don't be mad at me!