Friday, February 6, 2009

New Orleans, Jambalaya and Memories....

In honor of fat Tuesday (February 24) here's a recipe. This recipe was created by combining many different recipes and my recollection of cooking school in the french quarter (1984 at age 11). My memories of New Orleans from my second trip, ten years later, are much different than the first, but still involve the beloved Bourbon Street. I consider this recipe a success as my Mississippi livin, spicy food lovin Father in Law eats it by the bowlful!

** this may look a bit involved, but it makes a lot and it can be customized to satisfy most everyone. a heavy bottomed pot works best (I use enameled cast iron). I make 2 batches, one for the timid and one for the daring. If freezing do not add the rice until ready to eat. Be sure to not overcook the rice, unless you like it mushy)

1 1/2 lbs raw boneless chicken, chopped
season with creole seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 lb smoked sausage (use hot or mild depending on preference), chopped
brown meats together in 3 T oil and set aside

In same pot- saute until tender-
(all chopped)
4 c onion
2 c green pepper
2 c celery
2 cloves garlic

Drain excess oil and add
2 16-18 oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes with juice
5 c chicken stock
2 t old bay seasoning
1 t oregano
1 T paprika
1 t thyme crushed
add to taste-creole/Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce) Simmer 15 minutes.
Return meat to pot. The mixture should be spicy and salty at this point to flavor the rice as it cooks. Bring to a boil and add 4 c long grain rice. Cook uncovered, turning the rice, not stirring, from the bottom. Can add shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking. May need additional liquid. Cook until rice is almost done but still al dente.

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