I feel as though it is my duty to warn you…this recipe makes SO MUCH FOOD! Invite some hungry friends over. Or have a hungry Hubby who now has lunch for the entire week covered. There are two main types of Jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. This recipe is more of a Creole Jambalaya, also called “red jambalaya”, due to the inclusion of tomatoes. I haven’t had jambalaya too many times in my life, so I don’t have a lot to compare this to, but it was a nice surprise that it had a sort of subtly spicy heat to it that didn’t slap you in your face with its heat. Instead it allowed all of the flavorful ingredients to shine through. Hubby added a bit more cayenne pepper to his for some extra heat, and we both were happy. The ingredients list for this recipe is long, but straightforward. Just make sure to double check your grocery shopping list so you have everything you need. Also: Make sure your pot for this is 6 quarts (bare minimum) or larger or you’ll overflow!
Jambalaya (aka “Amelia’s Jambalaya”)
Credit: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds andouille or kielbasa sausage, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
8 chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and large-diced
2 cups celery, large-diced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum potatoes, drained and medium-diced
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
5 cups chicken stock
3 cups extra-long-grain white rice
3 bay leaves
1 pound (16 to 20 count) shrimp, tails on, peeled and deveined (*I like to remove the tails so my guests don’t have quite as much work to do before they can eat.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
~Heat the oil in a very large Dutch oven or stock pot, add the sausage, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the pieces until browned. Remove the sausage to a bowl with slotted spoon.
~Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot, skin sides down, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until browned. With tongs, turn and cook for another 5 minutes until browned. Remove to the bowl with the sausage and set aside. Don’t attempt to cook both the chicken and sausage together: they won’t brown properly.
~Add the butter to the oil in the pot, then add the onions, bell peppers, celery (onion, peppers, and celery are referred to as the “trinity” in Creole cooking), 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
~Add the tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape up the browned bits in the pot. Add the stock, rice, sausage, chicken, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
~Stir in the shrimp and simmer covered for 5 more minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parsley, scallions, and lemon juice. Cover and allow to steam for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the shrimp are fully cooked. Discard the bay leaves, sprinkle with extra parsley and scallions, and serve.