In my neck of the woods fall is in full swing. The temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling, and children’s cheeks are rosy. When the cold weather approaches and my taste buds long for some comfort food, I take a couple recipes out of hibernation. The recipe I’m going to share with you all today is a cold weather staple in my house, Jambalaya. My husband introduced me to this recipe. It was the first year we started dating and he joined us for our traditional Christmas Tree outing, and whipped up this delicious dish for us later that afternoon, and it was impressive. This dish is the definition of a one pot wonder, it has meat, it has seafood, it has veggies, it has rice, it pretty much has everything but the kitchen sink. There is some prep work involved that can be rather time consuming, so if you have an extra hand sitting around have them join you in the kitchen, it will be helpful. If not, follow my instructions, because after preparing this dish so many times, I have developed a system. My husband is working today, and is anticipating an amazing duck hunt this weekend, and this is one of his favorite meals. I have an afternoon filled with raking leaves and know I will be in no mood to cook dinner tonight, so I prepared this dish early this morning. The longer this sits the thicker and more delicious it becomes. Tonight I will be able to present my man with a homemade, warm meal, and watch him as he wonders “how does she do it all?”. That probably won’t happen, but a woman can dream right?
What you will need:
1 Tablespoon Vegtable Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
8oz. Kielbasa Sausage
6oz. Cubed Ham
2 Stalks of Celery chopped
1 medium Onion chopped
1 large Green Pepper chopped
2 cloves of Garlic minced
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 cup uncooked White Rice (fast-cook)
4 cups Chicken Broth (nice to have more on reserve if Jambalaya becomes too thick)
1 and 1/2 pounds Shrimp (thawed)
2 large Tomatoes chopped
2 Chicken Breasts (chopped and cooked)
Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
First: chop celery, onion, green pepper. Place in bowl with the minced garlic.
Second: Chop tomatoes and place in a seperate bowl.
Third: Slice Kielbasa sausage and place in a bowl with the cubed ham.
Fourth: Mix flour, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and 2 bay leaves in a seperate bowl.
Fifth: Remove the tails of the thawed shrimp.
Having this prepared this way will make things much easier when you begin assembling your Jambalaya.
Next chop the chicken breasts. In a skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter, cook chicken over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink. Set aside.
Next, in a large stock pot, heat vegetable oil. Add kielbasa sausage and cubed ham and saute for 5 minutes.
Next, add the bowl containing celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic to the stock pot. Add chicken as well. Saute for another 5 minutes. Take in the wonderful aromas that are beginning to fill your kitchen.
Next, stir in the bowl containing flour, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir constantly until flour has browned.
Now stir in Chicken broth and rice. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in shrimp and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Taste the deliciousness. If you like a little heat add a couple of dashes of Louisianna Hot Sauce.
The longer this sits the thicker and more flavorful it becomes. If you feel it is too thick, you may add more chicken broth to your liking. Serve with a piece of crusty bread. This reheats wonderfully.
Ladies pull your shirts down. Men put your beads away. You are not on Bourbon Street, though it may taste that way.