2005 Pot-Luck Jambalaya
Not exactly authentic, but it seems about right to me. And it fits the spirit of “a mess of leftovers cooked up together” that happens in so much of my cooking.
- 3 chicken thighs or two thighs and two legs (about a pound)
- 2 strips bacon
- 12 baby carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
- 2 yellow wax peppers, and about a half-dozen tabasco or similar peppers, chopped
- 14 oz. can stewed tomatos, chopped coarsely (just run a knife through ’em a couple times while they’re still in the can)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 boxes Zatarain’s jambalaya rice & spice
- 1 lb frozen, pre-cooked, pre-peeled, no tails shrimp
- ½ tbsp liquid smoke
- salt to taste (took about 1 tsp in my case)
- Broil the chicken – you’re aiming for about 30 minutes, and just want to get it done – crispy skin is fine.
- Start bacon frying.
- Slice the carrots into thin coins (penny-sized), and as soon as there’s visible grease in the pan, add the carrots and cover the pan.
- Start slicing the celery (about the same thickness as the carrots), and when it’s sliced, add it to the pan, giving everything a flip to mix, and re-cover.
- Start slicing the onion. When it’s sliced, into the pan, toss, and continue to fry, covered, until the onions go translucent. Heck, you can even caramelize them a bit.
- Set aside vegetables, leaving grease in frying pan.
- Slice 1lb andouille sausage into slices smaller than ½ inch (but not too much smaller).
- Fry andouille in the frying pan, then set aside, keeping the grease in the pan.
- Chop peppers, and fry briefly in the andouille grease (just enough to soften them up) – add to the other vegetables.
- Add tomatoes and juice to the rest of the veggies.
- Pull the chicken out of the broiler and break into bite-sized pieces.
- If you’re not cooking immediately, you can pack things up in quart containers – one of chicken and sausage, and one of veggies (for example if you’re taking it to a pot-luck). Throw the containers in the fridge until you’re ready to go.
- When you’re ready to go, throw everything but the shrimp into a 5qt slow-cooker (crock-pot), meat first, then rice, then veggies, and finally the chicken stock.
- Set it on low for most of a day, or high for a couple hours.
- Check on it periodically, give it a stir, and add a little water if it looks too dry.
- Add the shrimp when there’s about 15 minutes to go.
- Put some Hank Williams on the stereo, or get out the fiddle and accordion.
- Serve with french bread.
2 hours in the slow-cooker
a whole mess of folks (it’s over a dozen one-cup servings)
Served for the first time at the 2005 holiday pot-luck at work. People seemed to enjoy it, eating about a gallon of it, and leaving me with less than a quart to bring home for a future dinner.
I also preserved my peppers in sherry this year, so there was about a half-cup of sherry got into the pan when I was frying the peppers. It seemed like a good addition.