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Jammin’ On Jambalaya

A family favorite. Son #2 eats this with melted cheddar cheese in a tortilla - a jambalaya wrap.

A few thoughts on casseroles before we begin. The word casserole is from the French word for “saucepan,” according to Wikipedia, and is also used to describe a dish that is served in the pan it is baked in. Casseroles are incredibly forgiving on content, in my opinion, and I freely substitute ingredients according to what I have on hand. The following recipe is for jambalaya, adapted from Paul Prudomme’s Louisiana Kitchen (if you do not have this cookbook, go buy it now). While a classic combination may call for chicken and sausage, I’ve made this with shrimp, chicken, ham, and crawfish, among other things. It’ s a great way to use up little bits of leftovers. I’ve used red and yellow bell peppers instead of green. I’ve thrown zucchini in it. If it seems like it would go with the spices, toss it in! It’s all good!

Jambalaya

(adapted from Paul Prudomme’s Louisiana Kitchen)

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 TBS butter
  • 2 chicken boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 hot Italian sausage, chopped
  • 1.5-2 cups each – onion, green bell pepper, celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice (converted works best)

Notes: Adjust spices to heat tolerance – the measurements above are a medium heat level; Meijer makes a really good hot Italian sausage, reasonably priced, but I have also used chorizo or andouille sausage; I have oven-proof cookware, so I go from stove to oven to tabletop with my large skillet for this dish. If you are using a deeper casserole, increase baking time by 10 minutes or so. Need to save time? Chop everything up and place in ziplocs until you are ready to cook.

Heat oven to 350. In large skillet, melt butter on medium high heat. Add chicken and sausage and cook until the meat starts to brown.  Add spices garlic, and 1/2 cup each of onions, celery and green pepper. Mix well and saute until veggies start to soften.  Add tomatoes, sauce and remaining veggies. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and rice. Mix well. If skillet is oven-proof, place in oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or transfer to casserole dish and bake – 45 minutes for shallow baking dish, 55 for deeper casserole.

 

 

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Rebecca Foster writes about food, politics, books and whatever has irritated her on any particular day, on her website Usual and Ordinary (www.usualandordinary.com). She is an occasional contributor to The Livingston Post and has remained active in local politics and the community after serving as Pinckney Village President from 2004-2012, and as a trustee currently. She is enjoying empty-nesting in Pinckney with her husband, three cats and a few chickens.

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