Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Our trip to Kansas City was rife with random interstate construction in the early weekend evening (when it's practically a ghost town on the roads and all), endless rains, sucking mud and mazes. But one of the bright spots came in the form of a Louisiana rice dish.

About the closest we come to New Orleans cooking is a Popeyes so it was with some glee we tried a bayou restaurant. Most of it was fancy sandwiches stuffed with alligator or shrimp, but the jambalaya appetizer caught my eye.

Like a tomato risotto with sausage and spice thrown in for good measure.

Despite knowing I'd be up getting to intimately know my hotel room thanks to heart burn we gobbled the whole thing up and set off to make it at home.

I swiped most of it from All Recipes but made a few tweaks the next go around. I never add file powder, as we don't have any, and it still sets up a beaut.
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
10 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into
1 pound boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
3 cups chicken broth

You'll be chopping forever. Onions diced, garlic smashed, celery diced like you're trying to sell a knife, then the chicken cubed and the sausage diced.

I've actually used Johnsonville sausage for the Andouille, perhaps not fancy but it did the job.

Add the tablespoon of peanut oil to a big ol stew pot and brown the sausage for a minute or two.

Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, which is when I dug through my drawers for said holy spoon of antioch. I thought about grabbing my dremel, a wooden spoon, and making my own but a typical unslotted spoon worked okay as well.

Dredge the chicken with the cajun spice and then brown it in much the same way and set aside.

Into the pot go the onions, the garlic, the celery (and if you're following the original recipe the pure evil green peppers that should be wiped from the earth). Saute them all together until the onions no longer tug at your tear ducts.
 Dump in the tomatoes, the red pepper flakes, the old boring pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce (I admit it, I used Franks. I regret nothing!) and worcestershire sauce. Dump in your meat and let it all marry in a mass tomato wedding for ten minutes.
Dump in the rice and the chicken stock, then raise the temperature up to boiling. Okay, that was fun, now take it way down to barely on and cover the pot for 20-25 minutes. I check on the pot constantly, rice and I are not good friends, and the rice will eat up all that liquid like a ghost kirby.
After the 25 or so minutes you should have something like jambalaya or a portal to the negative dimension. I should really scrub my pots more often.

And enough leftovers to keep you dreaming of the tomatoey gooeniess for weeks to come.

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