My family loves meat – I am very fortunate that both my daughters love their meat, as well as my carnivorous husband. Even though when my husband goes away – I am happy as a clam to eat just a big salad with lots of fresh veges, I also love meat, and pretty much any kind. I love going to the meat counter and looking at all the different cuts, thinking about all the different ways I can cook it up for dinner. It is not very often though that I come home feeling like a meat department – until I decided to make the Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya that was printed in Bon Appetit. Jambalaya is usually made with shrimp, which is why I pretty much stayed away from it all my life. Things were about to change though – this recipe had no shrimp – just LOTS and LOTS of meat.
It didn’t really sink in as to how much meat the recipe had until I added it all up, and realized I was about to cook over 4 1/2 pounds worth. I immediately went to the phone and started calling our neighbors – I was about to make enough Jambalaya to feed a small army.
Well – that’s exactly what I did. I decided to use my favorite Le Crueset pot – one that I have never come close to filling – but I have also never cooked 4 1/2 pounds of meat in one casserole dish. Everything seemed fine until I added the rice, and boy was it looking like it was going to overflow. It ended up being just the perfect sized pot – the rice came nicely to the top, but did not cook out. The final product? Amazing!! Lots of flavor – lots of meat – a nice kick, and a one pot meal that the whole family enjoyed. It was a little spicy for the girls, but the rice mellowed it out a bit (and I also didn’t add all the cayenne pepper). I highly recommend this if you are cooking for a crowd – and if not, prepare for a lot of leftovers…but even leftover, it is awesome.
- 12 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced
- 1 1/2 pounds smoked fully cooked sausage (such as linguiça), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick semi-circles
- 1 pound andouille sausages, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 pound tasso or smoked ham (such as Black Forest), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds onions, chopped (4 to 5 cups)
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1 8- to 10-ounce red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 8- to 10-ounce green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 6 large skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
- 3 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 3 cups (19 to 20 ounces) long-grain white rice
- 8 green onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Cook bacon in very large pot over medium-high heat until brown but not yet crisp, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Add smoked sausage, andouille, and tasso. Sauté until meats start to brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Add onions, celery, and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Mix in chicken. Cook until outside of chicken turns white, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Mix in paprika, thyme, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Cook 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with chiles and broth; stir to blend well. Add more cayenne, if desired. Mix in rice.
Bring jambalaya to boil. Cover pot. Place in oven and bake until rice is tender and liquids are absorbed, 45 to 48 minutes. Uncover pot. Mix chopped green onions into jambalaya; sprinkle jambalaya with chopped parsley and serve.
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