Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Home Made Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Being a yankee, I have never been one to mess with LA favorites.  I have circled around flavors without actually making traditional dishes.  The last time I ate Jambalaya I concluded that it was sorely over spiced and even though I hydrated the rice with savory chicken broth, I couldn't cool down the heat.  It was then that I decided this dish had to be simple enough to make from scratch.  There are many combinations of protein and I choose Chicken and Sausage.

Here's how I made my own Jambalaya from scratch.
First the prep.  Dice 1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper to 1/4" dice.  Cut 1 Medium Onion, ciseler.  Wash, peel, and dice 2 Celery Stalks to 1/4" dice.  Have 4 Cloves of Garlic ready to press.  Rinse 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Drumettes and let dry on a paper towel lined plate.  Season the chicken with S&P.  Cut 1 1/2 lbs Smoked Sausage (I used D & D mild sausage) down the middle and then in 1/2" lengths. Chop 1/4 Cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley.

Heat a thick bottom pot over medium heat.  Add 2 Tbl Canola Oil.  Once hot, add the Chicken.  Sear on 1 side before turning.  Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown.  The chicken shouldn't be cooked all the way through as it will finish later.  Remove from the pan and place on a clean plate.

Add 1 Tbl Oil, if needed, and add the Peppers, Onion, and Celery.  Season with S&P and cook stirring often until they appear to be getting soft.  Press Garlic into the mixture and cook stirring a few times for a minute or 2.  (NOTE: This is optional.  I added 2 Tbl Butter at this time to add some creamy richness to the dish.)  Add 2 Cups Rice and stir to coat with oil.  Continue to toast the rice for another 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to Medium Low.  Begin adding 4 Cups of Chicken Broth, 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  While you are adding the broth season the mixture with 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme, 1 tsp Dried Sage, 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper, 2 Bay Leaves, 1/4 tsp Tabasco, 1 tsp Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper.  Once you have added all of the broth, add the chicken back into the pot and stir to combine. The rice will not be done.  Continue to add 1/4 cup of Water at a time until the rice is cooked.  This may take an additional cup of water.  Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning to taste.  Add the sausage and parsley.   This dish is somewhat forgiving as long as you haven't over-cooked the rice to begin with.  You can easily re-heat and it will hold the heat fairly well.
From where ever you hail, Happy Mardi Gras!!

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