I posted this recipe just over three years ago and
This jambalaya is based on Chef Donald Link’s recipe, with some advice from a few New Orleanians as well as a tweak or two of my own. What I love about so many dishes from NOLA, such as jambalaya or gumbo, is that they are meant to feed a crowd. They are not meant to be a quick and easy meal for when company drops by but a premeditated meal that requires time, and planning – the cooking is often the focal point of the party itself and the end result a representation of the love and friendship shared around the dinner table. So plan your day around cooking, have a few friends come early to help (or at least to provide some wine and company), and invite the neighborhood.
It is important to have all of your veggies chopped before starting to cook – this is called mise en place in culinary lingo, basically meaning having your things in place and ready to toss into the pot.
- 2 rotisserie chickens
- ½ lb smoked sausage (such as Andouille or Chorizo), sliced
- ½ lb uncooked pork sausage (spicy or sweet, depending on heat preference)
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 tbl canola oil
- 2 tbl Cajun spice Mix
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbl tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups long-grain brown rice
CAJUN SPICE MIX
- 1 tbl cayenne pepper
- 1 tbl paprika
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbl chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Shred the chicken, discard the skin, and put the bones into a large pot for stock. To make the stock: cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let simmer about 1 hour (this can all be done a day or two in advance). Strain out the solids and set the stock aside or in the fridge. You will need about 4½ cups of stock for this recipe.
- Slice the sausage and roughly cut the raw sausage into bite-size pieces. Dice the celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, garlic, scallion, and onion.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the sausage and sear until it starts to color, turning as necessary. Parts of the sausage will begin to stick to the pan, when there is a nice sausage-y coating stuck to the pan, pour in ¼ cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom until it comes loose. Let this simmer gently until all of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the sausage to a plate (but leave the grease in the pan to sauté the vegetables in).
- Return the pot to med-high heat, add the diced onion, bell peppers, jalapeños, scallions, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until they start to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of the chicken stock and let this reduce until dry. Continue to cook until about 10 more minutes – adding a little stock if the veggies start to stick again.
- Add the spice mix, salt, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, for 10 more minutes, until things start to stick to the bottom again. Deglaze with another ¼ cup stock and reduce again until dry.
- Add the shredded chicken, sausage, rice, and stock – check the rice package for the liquid to rice ratio (it should be about 4 – 4 ½ cups). You want the mixture to have plenty of room so the rice will cook evenly.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes - taste the rice to make sure it is done.