Friday, October 18, 2013

Recipe #249: Jambalaya

I previously posted a jambalaya recipe that is made in a crock pot (see this link), but this recipe from has many more ingredients, including all the spices to make the cajun seasoning from scratch.  This is not a saucy jambalaya- the rice absorbed all of the broth as I made it in this recipe, so adjust accordingly if you prefer more sauciness.  This is a SPICY meal to warn those who prefer things to be mild.  My comments are in red.


For the spice mix:

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (I used half)
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch celery salt

For the jambalaya:

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium dice
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, medium dice  (I used the whole pound in the package.  Why not??)
  • 4 ounces tasso or smoked ham, medium dice  (I couldn't find either, so I just used black forest ham.)
  • 2 large green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and medium dice
  • 3 medium celery stalks, medium dice
  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes  (I used a can of whole tomatoes that I crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
For the spice mix:

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

For the jambalaya:

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the lower third. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof, 7-quart pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place about one-third of the chicken pieces in the pot and cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and brown the remaining chicken in 2 more batches; set aside.

Remove and discard all but about 1/4 cup of the fat from the pot. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onions, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown, about 6 minutes.

Add the sausage, ham, and half of the reserved spice mix. Stir to coat everything with the spice mix and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the meat is browned and the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the bell peppers, celery, jalapeño, garlic, measured salt, and remaining spice mix. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the bell peppers have softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved chicken and any accumulated juices, the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add the rice, stock or broth, and bay leaves, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Cover with a tightfitting lid, transfer to the oven, and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pot to a wire rack and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir to evenly combine the jambalaya, taste, and season with salt as needed. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

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