Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big-Batch Jambalaya

I had wanted to make this dish last week for Mardis Gras, but I just wasn't able to get it done. I won't lie - it's time-consuming! And I don't make recipes like this very often. This is the kind of meal you make on the weekend or when you have some extra time. It's not quick, but it's so delicious, and it makes a large quantity, so it's definitely worth the effort.  And although it's traditional Mardi Gras fare, it would also be great for a church potluck, baby/bridal shower, game-day, or house-warming party. The actual cooking time is not long - it's the prep work that takes time. So if you have some kiddos around the house or a willing spouse, you might want to persuade (or bribe) them to help you. : )

The sauce is slightly spicy, so if you don't like heat, reduce the amount of cayenne to 1/2 tsp. Both of my kids loved the flavor of the sauce. My daughter, extreme picky-eater, picked out the onion, peppers, and shrimp, but ate the rest and went back for seconds. So that's saying something!

I found this recipe in an old Taste of Home Magazine (Feb./March 2010), and adapted it slightly to suit my family's tastes.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (Sorry, I forgot to include this in the photo.)
  • 1/2 lb. fully cooked ham, cubed
  • 1/2 lb. smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) beef broth
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 c. water
  • 3/4 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 c. uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Phew! That's a long list....

Preheat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chicken with a pinch or two of salt, and add to the preheated pot. Cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot, add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Then add the ham, kielbasa, peppers, and onion. Cook until the onion is tender. This part smells delicious!

Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, water, mustard, parsley, Worcestershire, cayenne, and thyme.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat again; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir in shrimp and chicken. Cook over medium heat for an additional 4 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.

Give it a taste-test and adjust for seasoning. I don't think you'll need to add salt because of the cured meats in there, but it's a matter of preference. This recipe yields 12 (1-cup) servings. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Boy, this is making my mouth water! I like being able to control the heat in such a dish instead of getting blasted with intense flavor from a mix such as Tony Chachere, which is what I usually use. I look forward to trying your method soon.

    p.s. I'm your newest follower, both via Google & Linky!


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