Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Step by Step Jambalaya Recipe

Jambalaya! What is Jambalaya? Where is it from? How many types of Jambalaya are out there? Well according to Wiki , "Creole jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the original European sector. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish. In modern Louisiana, the dish has evolved along a variety of different lines. Creole jambalaya, or red Jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as 'Jambalaya'. Creole Jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun jambalaya does not."

There is always more than one way to make a dish and YES there are a millions ways different people make their Jambalaya. After a few times of trial and error and some experimenting with different Jambalaya recipes, I came up with the one that is best for my taste and my family's. You can use my recipe as a guide and adjust it to your taste and what you have available in your kitchen! There is no rules, but just have fun and enjoy cooking this flavorful filling dish!

Here is how I make my Jambalaya:


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, boiled and cut into 1 inch pieces
(Note: I sometimes boil a whole chicken, use both the broth and the meat)
1 pound peeled and divined shrimp, raw
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, (more or less depending on your taste)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups chicken broth (or water)

Optional: If you want a red (tomato based) Creole Jambalaya, throw in a can of small tomato sauce or Rotel or Italian crushed tomatoes, etc. Use what you have in your pantry!

The Holy Trinity (Onion, bell peppers, and celery)

Heat the oil on medium heat and sautee the garlic and bay leaf for about a minute till fragrant.

Add the Holy Trinity, salt, and Caynne pepper.

Cook till all the veggies are almost tender for about 5-6 minutes.

Add the rice.

Mix well so that the rice will cook without sticking and lumping together.

Add the Cajun seasoning powder, thyme, black pepper.

Add the broth and the rest of the seasoning sauces (hot sauce etc). Stir once. cover and let it simmer over low heat for about 20-25 minutes.

Add the chicken, saussage, and raw shrimp during the last 10 minute of cooking.

Mix and taste. Rice should be fully cooked, but not mushy or very wet. You can now enjoy Jambalaya!!