Earlier this month, the Saints played the 49ers at Candlestick Park (and won). Naturally, every NOLA native in the area crawled out of the woodwork and showed up in force to tailgate. My addition to the tailgate party was some jambalaya. I thought it was pretty decent, and others really loved it, so here’s the recipe. It’s pretty simple and anyone should be able to whip it up. In fairness, a large part of this is a rendition on Jason Dean’s recipe, with my touches added. Then again, it’s jambalaya — there’s pretty much only one way of making it. Anyway, here goes with instructions and pics.
- 1 large white onion
- 1 large(ish) bell pepper (red or green but I use red)
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes & chiles (in NOLA we’d use Rotel but here in SF I just use Del Monte)
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth (low sodium!)
- 4 tbsp of butter (or earth balance if you’re a lactard)
- 1 lb of peeled, deveined shrimp
- 1 lb of uncooked andouille sausage
- 1.5 lb of chicken (breasts or thigh meat) cubed
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, and Tony Cachere’s
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 small bay leaves (or 1 big one)
- 2 1/4 cups basmati rice
Here’s my recommended plan of action, but feel free to deviate in order to save time. I like to have everything done ahead of time. Some people like to chop while other things are going. Whatever floats your boat.
- Peel and devein the shrimp. I didn’t used to devein, but now I always do. It’s quick and easy and people don’t get freaked out. Put the shrimp in a bowl or some container, then put it in the fridge.
- Cube the chicken meat (1.5″-2″ cubes) then place in a bowl and put in fridge.
- Chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper. This is the cajun trinity. Mix together and throw it in a bowl and put in fridge.
- Mix all of the seasonings together in a bowl and set aside. I do this ahead of time since there are so many to add.
- Heat some oil in a large cast iron pot and start to cook the sausage. I use light flavored olive oil — just enough to coat the bottom of the pot (when hot). Cook the sausage until they’re done (remember these are not the pre-cooked variety). Probably at least 12-15 minutes.
- Pull the sausage out with tongs, place on to cutting board, then quickly add in the chopped vegetables (trinity). Same heat as the sausage, wilt down the vegetables for 3 minutes or so.
- While the vegetables are wilting, slice the sausage into 1″ pieces. Stir the vegetables occasionally.
- When wilted, add back the sausage and add the chicken, too. Cook until the chicken is just about done.
- Add the shrimp and cook until they just about turn through. Stir a little, but not too much.
- While the shrimp are cooking, mince some garlic.
- Add in the chicken broth, tomato sauce, and chopped tomatoes.
- Stir in the seasonings, garlic, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil.
- Add the rice, stir it around well, drop the heat to a simmer, and cover.
- Cook for 25 minutes or until done.
- When done, remove from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then serve.
Here’s how things should sorta look:
Cook down the Cajun trinity.
Add in the chicken and sausage
Add the tomato action
Ready for the Saints to beat the 49ers!