Thursday, March 3, 2011


It's funny - I wasn't even thinking about the timing when I made jambalaya the other night. I just happened to have some leftover chicken and a few shrimp and thought this would be a good way to use them together. I added in a couple of sausage (which turned out to be merguez rather than the andouille I thought they were - no matter, they were still delicious) I'd bought at the farm stand and frozen in the fall and we were eating well. When I realized that Mardi Gras is fast approaching, I thought I'd post this right away.

I've been playing with brown rice in this recipe for a while and this method seems to work pretty well. I have tried it in the oven, but stove top makes it easier to peek in and check liquid level. This is not a difficult recipe to make, but it does require some cooking time in the pot because of the brown rice. Try it this weekend!

You can play around with the protein in this recipe. I used fresh shrimp, sausage and a little already cooked, leftover rotisserie chicken. You could easily leave out the chicken or use fresh chicken thigh meat. Or, you could use chicken or turkey andouille sausage. I've also made this with a little crabmeat which is also delicious.

You might notice that I've left out one of the trinity of New Orleans style cooking - the green bell pepper. I really don't like them so I tend to leave them out. Feel free to add about a half a diced green bell pepper in with your onions and celery.


(serves 4 - 6)

1 pound fresh shrimp

2 links (about one half pound) andouille sausage

about 2 cups diced up rotisserie or leftover chicken ( you can also use two or three raw boneless skinless thighs if you prefer)

1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 nice large onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 fat garlic cloves, diced

1 teaspoon red pepper paste (I happen to have this so I used it as I don't use bell pepper. Please do not think you should go out and buy this specialty item if you do not have it!!)

2 tablespoons Cajun spice mix (I make my own and store it in a spice jar, and provide the recipe below but you can use a packaged blend. Just check the sodium!)

2 teaspoons flour

2.5 cups low or no sodium added chicken stock

1 can (14.5 ounce) diced fire roasted, no salt added tomatoes (if you can't find fire roasted, just use regular no sodium added diced tomatoes)

1 cup brown rice ( I like to use Uncle Ben's brown rice in the orange bag for this - it's a little shorter grain than some)

3 -4 scallions, sliced

1. Peel and devein the shrimp and set aside

2. Slice andouille sausage into approximately 1/2 - 1 inch chunks. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, turned once or twice until nicely browned. Remove sausage from pan and reserve (If you want to use raw chicken thighs brown them here and set aside with sausage).

3. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil and then the diced onion, celery and pepper if you're using it. When the onion begins to soften, add the garlic and cook another few minutes until onions are translucent.

4. If using red pepper paste, add that to the Dutch oven and then the spice mix and flour. Mix well and let cook for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and brown rice. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add the sausage (and chicken too if you started with raw) back in and cover pot. Let simmer for about 55 minutes. Check the liquid after about 40 minutes to make sure it hasn't cooked down too much. If it seems dry, add another half cup to a cup of stock or water.

6. Add in the shrimp (and already cooked chicken if you're using it), and let simmer, covered, for another five minutes or so.

7. Take the pot off the heat and let sit for about 10 more minutes. Sprinkle scallions on when ready to serve.

Cajun Spice Mix

In a small bowl, mix together the following:

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

store in a sealed container.

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