CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 15–20 Servings
In the early 1700s, Spanish settlers in New Orleans brought their famous paella. Since the traditional Spanish ingredients for paella were not found in South Louisiana, the recipe was adapted to indigenous ingredients. Oysters and crawfish replaced clams and mussels, and fresh pork or andouille took the place of cured ham. The new dish was influenced by many different cultures, including the Africans who contributed their rice or yaya to jambalaya. The French later named the dish Jambon a la yaya, meaning ham with rice.
3 pounds chicken, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds sliced smoked sausage
¼ cup shortening or bacon drippings
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
½ cup minced garlic
8 cups beef or chicken stock
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced green onions
½ cup chopped parsley
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
5 cups uncooked long-grain rice
In a 7-quart, cast iron Dutch oven, heat shortening or bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken 30 minutes or until dark brown on all sides and beginning to stick to bottom of pot. This process is important because jambalaya’s brown color is derived from the color of the meat. Add smoked sausage and stir fry 10–15 minutes. Tilt pot to one side and ladle out all oil, except 1 large cooking spoonful. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic. Continue cooking until all vegetables are well caramelized, being careful not to scorch them. Pour in stock, bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir in mushrooms, green onions and parsley. Season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce. If desired, slightly over-season dish since rice has not yet been added. Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 30–45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Do not uncover except to stir. When cooked, stir and let steam 10 minutes before serving.
From “The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine,” Chef John Folse, Owner & CEO of Chef John Folse & Company, 2517 South Philippe Avenue, Gonzales, La. 70737, www.jfolse.com.