Jambalaya: Cajun Comfort!

The flavourful mixture of rice, vegetables, shrimp and assorted meat cooked in a rich tomato enhanced stock makes  jambalaya a satisfying comfort food.  Adding some homemade spicy Tasso ham brings the dish to life.


In Pictures:

Galantine Chicken

We thought it would be fun to debone the chicken as if we were making a galantine (forcemeat stuffed chicken roll – haven’t made one of those since charcuterie class 2 years ago).

Mise Veggies Mise Meats Mise Spices Mise Rice and Stock

Prepare your mise en place.  Vegetables (onions, peppers, jalapeños, celery, garlic), meat (chicken, tasso ham, andouille sausage, shrimp), spices (bay leaves, oregano, chili, kashmiri chili), soaked rice and stock are prepped and ready to add.

Veggies Chicken and Sausage Rice and Tomato

The vegetables are cooked until beginning to soften.  Chicken and sausage are added.  Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, rice and stock are added.

Tasso Ham Shrimp Jambalaya Bowl

Fried tasso ham pieces and shrimp are added just before serving.  This keeps the spicy coating on the ham pieces and doesn’t allow the shrimp to overcook.


Recipe:

Jambalaya with Chicken, Sausage, Ham and Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 500 mL (2 cups) rice
  • 1 L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • ~400 mL (14 oz. can) crushed (0r diced) tomatoes
  • ~150 mL (5.5 oz can) tomato paste
  • 1 each red, green, yellow pepper
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 jalapenos,. fine dice
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh or 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) dried oregano
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) cayenne
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) Kashmiri Chili (optional)
  • Tabasco (or other hot sauce) to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb) andouille sausage, cut into slices
  • 500 g (1 lb) chicken breast or leg, cubed
  • 500 g (1 lb)  shrimp, shelled (I like to leave tails on)
  • 250 g (1/2 lb) tasso ham, 0.5 cm (1/4″) cubes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear.  Soak in cold water.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pot.  Add onions, garlic, celery, jalapeno and bay leaves and a large pinch of salt and cook gently until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add sausage and chicken and cook until no longer pink (on the outside).
  4. Add tomato paste, rice, stock, Tabasco sauce, spices, salt and pepper. Cover and gently simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until rice is tender. Add a little extra water while cooking if needed.  *1
  5. Adjust spices and then stir in shrimp.  Cover and leave to cook for 3 – 5 minutes until shrimp turn pink.
  6. Add parsley and serve. *2

Notes:
*1: If you are using Tasso ham, you can add it now if you want the spice and sample flavour to infuse through the dish.
*2: If you want spicy, salty bits of ham, fry them up in a little oil (not too hot or the dry rub will burn and become bitter) and use it to top the jambalaya.

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