Who Wants Jambalaya?”
The word “Jambalaya” always reminds me of “Seinfeld”, when Kramer almost sings the word as he describes the dish – but I got my inspiration from one of New Orleans’ greatest restaurants!
Commander’s Palace has been a New Orleans institution since 1890, and in the 1970’s the Brennan family took over and kept all of its delicious culinary traditions alive!
For week #35 of my “52 In 22 cooking challenge”, I wanted to cook classic creole food.
Wedged right in the middle of the latest ten cookbooks is the “Commanders Palace New Orleans Cookbook” by Ella and Dick Brennan.
As the cookbook notes, this is a cajun version of a spanish Paella….here are the ingredients:
1/4 cup clarified butter
1 coarsely chopped onion
1 coarsely chopped bell pepper
3 coarsely chopped celery stalks
5 minced cloves of garlic
1 pound shrimp
1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp Louisiana Red Hot sauce
1 bunch green onions coarsely chopped
1/2 lb andouille or kielbasa sausage slice 1/2″ thick
1/2 lb ham and crawfish tails optional
1 cup rice
Let’s Get Cooking!
First thing to do is hope up your bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic.
Heat the butter in an uncovered heavy-bottom pot or kettle. Add all of the vegetables and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
While stirring, also cut up your chicken and sausage, and take any shells off of your shrimp as well…
Add your shrimp, chicken, bay leaves and thyme and continue to cook it over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes…the chicken should have color on the outside and the shrimp will be pink.
Add the paprika and then the tomatoes, plus the chicken stock, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and mix it all together well.
Finally, add the sausage and any other meat or seafood being used and when the mixtures comes to a boil, add salt to taste.
My “Rice Audible!”
According to the original recipe, this is where you’d mix the rice in and then cook the entire mixture over low heat for 30 minutes….but I called an audible on the rice…
Here’s a clip that explains why I didn’t add rice to the dish itself – which would have absorbed much of the sauce and made a thicker mixture when finished….
As I said in the video, I had some leftover green rice with roasted corn, and as the clip showed some cauliflower rice for Alex as well.
So instead of cooking it in the dish itself, I just added them into our individual bowls at the end, covered it with the jambalaya and the dish was ready to serve!
The cookbook calls this “pot cooking” at its best – and they are right!
First, let me say again that adding the cup of raw rice to the dish when called for would have made this drier with less broth – and I love more broth with mine, so it worked for me!
The recipe also called for green onions, which I didn’t have, and those were to be shaved over the dish at the end, giving it some color…oh well, next time!
This is a delicious meal to make – all in one pot, full of creole flavor, and very filling. I will be making this many more times in the future!
This wasn’t the first time I’ve made a dish like this:
Remember My “Tale Of Two Paellas?”
Week #15 of the “52 In 22 cooking challenge” had me making a simple Spanish Paella that turned out to be anything but!
Click here to see why my “52 In 22 Cooking Challenge” forced me to make one dish twice!
I have tried to cook all around the world, exploring the tastes of different cultures – like this “Basteeya”:
This flaky chicken pot pie has powdered sugar on top, the traditional Moroccan way – click here for the recipe:
“Bite! Eat! Repeat!” is your site for all things food – from these step-by-step cooking directions for 52 dishes from around the world – to fun stuff like Caviar Tater Tots!
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I love all the creole spices and this looks delicious, John I would have gone with seperate rice instead of adding it to the dish as my hubby likes a bit of juice..
That looks SO delicious, John! You’re inspiring me with your cooking series!
I have never had authentic Jambalya, John. I would love to try it though. But I have tried cauliflower rice, and i think it is horrible. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.