SPICY CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

My son’s school is having a carnival this weekend, and all of the funds raised go towards the scholarship fund, which helps out about 100 students annually.  One of the booths is a frozen casserole booth — frozen meals are donated and sold for $25.  What’s that?  An opportunity to cook?  Well sign me up!

With Fat Tuesday just a few days away, I thought something Cajun might be popular.  (It’s really embarassing to have your item not sell, and wind up buying it yourself to spare yourself the shame.)  (UPDATE:  My dish went quickly, and I didn’t have to buy it myself.)  The recipe is slightly adapted from this one from Town Hall restaurant in San Francisco (yes, I know, it’s not in Louisiana).  I’ve never made jambalaya before, and I have to say, it was a lot of work. Not hard, but definitely time-consuming.  And definitely tasty.  This version has a lot of spice, but the heat was not overwhelming.  I hope whoever buys it (and I’m hoping it’s not me) will think it was as delicious as I did.

SPICY CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
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Recipe type: Main Course
Author:
Ingredients
For the spice mix:
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch of celery salt
For the jambalaya:
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, medium dice
  • 4 ounces smoked ham, medium dice
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and medium dice
  • 3 celery stalks, medium dice
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, seed, and minced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14.5-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for optional garnish
Instructions
  1. To prepare spice mix, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven (need to have enough room for a large stockpot).
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof, 7-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 5-6 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and brown the remaining chicken. Remove to bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the sausage, ham, and half of the reserved spice mix. Stir to coat everything with the spice mix and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the meat is browned and the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers, celery, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and remaining spice mix. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the bell peppers have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, broth, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to oven, and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot to a wire rack and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir to evenly combine the jambalaya. Taste, and season with salt as needed. Just before serving, sprinkle with scallions, if using, and serve.

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Ready for the oven (do you like the bay leaf sharks?) IMG_3640

 Laissez les bons temps rouler! 

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