My husband came back from a business conference in New Orleans years ago with a craving for spicy sausage. He also brought back a cookbook and an apron imprinted with a recipe for Jambalaya, which he makes when he gets a hankering for the spicy stew. He makes a big batch; many friends and relatives have had the fun of tasting it.
This year a friend who used to live in New Orleans gave him a hunk of authentic Andouille sausage. (Thanks Bobby!) They don’t grind the meat; they used small chunks of pork to create a smoked Cajun sausage. Ken couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and start chopping. This is one meal he really enjoys making by himself, so I stood back and took a few pictures.
He got his inspiration from “Recipes and Reminiscences of New Orleans,” published by the Parent’s club of Ursuline Academy, Inc. It’s an odd cookbook to me because it doesn’t have a section for cookies. And the dessert chapter (which you know I went to first) had lots of recipes for flaming bananas and banana pudding. I finally found the recipes for cookies which were under a chapter called “Creole Sucreries.” No wonder I didn’t find them. Looks like a topic for another day.
• You can use either a whole chicken or chicken thighs and drumsticks. This time Ken used all drumsticks.
• Because we wanted to use brown rice, we cooked it separately since it takes so long to cook.
• There’s a lot of chopping; to save time on the day you’re cooking, you may want to boil the chicken the day before. This way you can skim the fat off the stock more easily if it’s been in the fridge overnight.
• If you want to use white rice, you can add it to the stew for the final 30 minutes of simmering. Be sure to add more stock to compensate.
• There are no precise measurements for all the herbs and spices, so use your own judgment, according to your palate.
10 chicken drum sticks
3 medium onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers – he often uses two different colors
2 TBS olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 pound smoked sausage, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 bay leaves
Boil the chicken until tender. Cool, take the meat off the bone.
Reserve the chicken stock and set the meat aside.
Sauté the onion, celery, peppers and garlic in the oil in a large kettle.
Add the chicken and sausage, tomatoes and tomato paste.
Add seasonings to taste.
Add cup of the reserved stock.
Cook for 30 – 45 minutes on low heat.
The flavors should blend together in a spicy, moist stew.
Serve with brown rice.
This jambalaya can be as spicy as you like or as mild. It’s packed with protein from the chicken and sausage and loaded with vegetables for pure enjoyment.