Jambalaya

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This is my picky-eater husband’s favorite dish.  I know– weird, right?  He HATES onions and avoids the kitchen when garlic is cooking.  And yet he LOVES jambalaya.  He likes the spice.  And the combination of meats.  He also likes rice.  I really should make this more often!

Why don’t I make it more often?  Well, this recipe makes A LOT of jambalaya.  A huge pot full.  And there’s just the two of us.  I don’t like it as leftovers because I think the shrimp gets rubbery and the rice gets too mushy.  But Ty likes the leftovers, so that’s good. 🙂

This dish is hearty, spicy, and warms you up from the inside out.  It’s perfect for a cold winter’s day.  Maybe we will make this a New Years tradition!  Make it every New Years Eve to start the year out right.  Ty would like that!

Jambalaya

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  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 (14 oz.) smoked sauage, cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1-2 Tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (Crystal is the best)
  • 1-1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 lb. peeled, de-veined shrimp
  1. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and garlic.  Cook until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pot along with any accumulated juices.  Set aside.
  2. Add the sausage to the pot and cook until browned, stirring often, about 7 minutes.  Don’t worry if the bottom of the pot turns black.  That’s flavor, baby!  Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the pot and add the carrots.  Cook about 2 minutes, then add the celery and bell pepper.  Continue to cook, stirring often, about 5 more minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from pot and set aside.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the water, tomatoes and hot sauce.  For a mild Jambalaya, add 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning; for medium, add 1-1/2 Tbsp cajun seasoning; for hot, add 2 Tbsp cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in the rice and let cook for 15 minutes.  Add the chicken, sausage, vegetables, and shrimp to the pot.  Cook another 7 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and the rice is tender.  Serve immediately with more hot sauce, if desired.

Happy 2013!!!

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