I'm just going to throw on some beads and whip up a little of my own jambalaya tonight!
I seldom really make jambalaya the same way twice, at least not consciously. But even though it's a great dish for improvisation, and for using up some leftovers like cooked chicken, don't just indiscriminately throw things in a big pot with some rice - "hey, I found a leftover hot dog in the back of the fridge, let's throw that in!" The recipe that follows is a general guideline to the way jambalaya is prepared on the Lonesome Road; there is room for customization but remember not to stray too far from the heart and soul of the dish.
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
- 1/2 pound smoked spicy sausage, like andouille, sliced
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Add the uncooked rice and cook, stirring briskly, until rice just turns golden. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine with the rice-sausage-vegetables mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and add cooked chicken, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and the three peppers. Cook, covered, over low heat for about 30 minutes. Add more liquid, or cook longer, if you need to.
When rice is tender, add shrimp, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
Season to taste with salt and more pepper if you wish.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Variations: Add some leftover chopped pork if you like. I also like to include crabmeat once in a while. And of course - use crawfish if you can get it!