I've been wanting to try jambalaya for awhile now, and figured my vacation week was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. The original recipe called for Andouille Sausage - which I could not find at our local grocery store. Instead, I used a spicy Portuguese Sausage, which was wonderful! Probably one of the more spicy sausages I've had, and a flavorful addition to dish.
The jambalaya tasted wonderful the first night, but the hubby & I actually like it better reheated. The flavors have some time to meld, and the texture is unchanged. It's good that the left overs taste great - we have a lot! My husband eats A LOT (I wish I had his metabolism), and we easily have 4 meals worth of food for the two of us. You'll need a (very) large pan to make the full recipe - ours was 12 inches in diameter & 3 inches deep, and it was full to the brim.
SHRIMP, CHICKEN & SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA (adapted from Annie's Eats)
1 medium onion, trimmed and quartered
2 stalks celery, cut into quarters
1 large, red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
8 oz. sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch chunks
1½ cups long-grain white rice
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (¼ cup of juice reserved)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. shrimp (31-40 per lb.), peeled and deveined
Combine the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped fine, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Be careful not to over-process. (I prepared this mixture a day ahead of time while I had my food processor out to chop onions for another recipe)
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pot, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the opposite side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add the sausage. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon, and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chopped vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, salt, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is coated with the fat, about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves and cooked sausage to the pot. Stir to combine.
Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and place the chicken on the rice so that the side the skin was just removed from is now facing down. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, keeping the chicken in the same general position, and continue to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or cutting board and set aside.
Scatter the shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
While the shrimp are cooking, shred the chicken into thin strands. Once the shrimp are finished cooking, stir in the chicken, and serve immediately.
NOTE: We've also decided we could probably add more veggies to the dish. Because the food processor chopped them so finely, you didn't even realize there were any in there. Great way to add some veggies to a diet!