My husband has been
begging asking me to cook up a pot of jambalaya for some time now. Every time I inquire what he’s hungry for, that one Cajun inspired word escapes his lips and lands in my lap with a thud. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t enjoy jambalaya, much to the contrary. The problem I have is that well constructed Jambalaya takes time. Time to stew and time for all those wonderful French Southern flavors to meld together. As you can well imagine, this is something I don’t normally have when it comes to a typical weeknight dinner. And so my husband continues to ask and I continue to say next time. Until this past weekend that is.
Every so often the creole stars align and a night arrives where dinner takes center stage on the daily roster. This past Sunday was just such a day. With the Packers set to play a big football game (no I don’t want to talk about how it all went down – grrr) and a Monday school holiday for the boys, I determined that the day had finally arrived for a hot and hearty pot of protein laden jambalaya.
Let me tell ya, it was certainly worth the wait. I got a little carried away in the seafood department and pretty much added one of every crustacean available including shrimp, scallops and crab. The recipe only calls for shrimp, but if you feel the need as I did to add more, by all means do so.
Begin with a handful of spices; nine to be exact. Drop them into a bowl and let a few chicken legs have their way with them.
Sear the covered legs in a well oiled dutch oven until crispy and golden brown on the outside and then add in a pile of sausage to the mix.
In a separate saucepan heat up another swirl of oil and cook the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.
Add it to the pot along with a smattering of fresh herbs, a large can of tomatoes and a few other flavor inducing accoutrements.
Drop the lid on, turn the heat on medium low and wait for the magic to happen. Abra Cadabra, ooh la la.
For the final act, drop a little (or a lot) of seafood onto the top of the jambalaya. Push it down gently to submerge it in the tomato liquid. Pop the top back on and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve over steamed rice and enjoy a little slice of creole inspired heaven along with one hunger satisfied husband.
Chicken, Sausage & Seafood Loaded Jambalaya
Yield: Serves approx. 8 one cup servings)
Total Time: 2 hours
1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Old Bay
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Pound Chicken Legs
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Pd Sausage (Andouille or Smoked works best)
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
3 Stalks Celery, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Bay Leaves
1 Bunch Fresh Oregano
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme
1 28 Oz. Can Tomatoes (whole or diced will work)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Pound Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Hot Sauce to Taste
Salt to Taste
Mix together the first 9 spices in a bowl.
Coat the chicken completely reserving 1 tablespoon of the spice for later.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large dutch oven and heat on medium high heat.
Toss in the chicken and sear it for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Slice up the sausage and add it in to the pan with the chicken. Let sear for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to medium low.
In a separate sauce pan, heat up the remaining tablespoon of oil on medium heat and add in the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic.
Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Add mixture to dutch oven along with the bay leaves, oregano, thyme, tomatoes, Worcesterhire and the reserved tablespoon of spice.
Swirl a spoon around a few times to roughly mix the ingredients and then cover and let sit on medium low heat for about an hour.
After an hour, add the shrimp into the mixture, cover and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until cooked through.
Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve over steamed rice.