Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Laissez les bon temps rouler! Happy Mardi Gras! One of my bucket list items is to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  The last two years, I have threatened my husband that I am just going to drive there at the last minute.   I am a huge Better Than Ezra fan and they play at the House of Blues during the Mardi Gras celebrations every year.  At the last minute, I had to let go of the fantasy and decided just to be there in spirit.

This jambalaya was one way to achieve that.  Now, I am aware of how I bastardized the dish.  But it was good to have the taste of jambalaya.   Since it was a last minute decision to make it, I just used what I had on hand.  The biggest thing was that I had chicken breast, so I didn't buy a whole chicken.   I also didn't have a red bell pepper, so I skipped it.   I'm not sure if that's sacrilege, but you can add those in when you make it.

I also don't know if purists would turn their nose up, but I marinated my chicken breasts in paprika, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I wanted to impart a little smoky flavor.  I really loved this.  This time of year, I try to make dinner earlier in the afternoon, so I can photograph before I lose the sun.  When I was done photographing this, I inhaled it.  When Nico got home, I inhaled another bowl.  It's fat Tuesday.  I'll make up for it in the next 40 days.

adapted from The Galley Gourmet

2 T canola oil
3 chicken breasts, marinated in olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper
1 package sausage (I used kielbasa, but andouille would work best), sliced in 1/4" rounds
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 stalks celery, diced fine
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock

chopped green onions, chopped parsley and Tabasco for serving.

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil.  Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 4 minutes per side.   Remove from pan and set aside.  Add the sausage and brown on both sides,  about 5 minutes.  Work in batches if you can't fit all the sausage at once.   Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside with the chicken.

Drain most of the oil off, reserving 3 tablespoons.  Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and cook until softened.   Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Add the cayenne, salt and pepper.   Stir in the rice and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.   Return the chicken and sausage to the pan, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  (This took my closer to 30 minutes, probably because I used brown rice, not white like the original recipe called for.) Fluff with a fork, and top with garnishes before serving.


The Cricket on the Hearth said...

1/5 cups brown rice? I'm confused... is this a typo? Please clarify? Thanks - sounds so yummy!

Michelle said...

Oh gosh! Thanks! I updated it, it should be 1.5 cups. Note to self, no blogging after a glass of wine!