This is one of those recipes that you can find everywhere, some more authentic than others. This makes no real attempt to be so, but goodness we loved it to death.
And because I don’t cook the rice IN the dish, you can make huge batches of this and freeze up meals for those wintry days when you are tired from fighting the elements and want a great meal in minutes.
Of course you can substitute other seafood for the shrimp, or add crawfish or fish if you wish. All should be added late in the game and just cooked. Sticking them in too early will result in rubbery tasteless crustaceans.
The same is true of the sausage. I buy cooked sausage and love the taste, so I don’t let it sit and cook out it’s flavor. Do as you wish about this.
Okra is up to you. I like it. Some don’t.
Filé gumbo powder is not to be added during cooking, but only at the end. I use it as a table condiment and let folks sprinkle it on if they like it.
So get busy, and go Cajun!
- 4 chicken thighs (or other chicken parts to equal about 2 – 4 c cooked)
- 5 tbsp canola oil, divided 2 and 3
- 1 1/2 lg sweet peppers (I used 1/2 of a red, green, and yellow)
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 3-4 ribs of celery diced
- 1 c of diced okra (optional)
- 1 tsp salt (adjust depending on whether you use salted tomatoes and stock)
- 2 tsp each black and cayenne pepper (again, adjust given what you want in heat)
- 3 cloves garlic, microplaned
- 2 15 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups (at least) chicken stock
- 1 lb andouille sausage cut into chunks (or other sausage you like)
- 1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned
- 3 tbsp flour
- 4-5 scallions, chopped
- filé gumbo powder
- 2 c dry rice (for 4 cups cooked)
- Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the thighs, browning well and turning to brown the other side. Remove to a separate plate.
- Add the trinity: onions, bell peppers and celery, reducing heat to medium and sauteing until fairly softened.
- Add the seasonings, garlic and tomatoes, and bay leaves. Return the chicken to the pot, and cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes until the chicken is done.
- Remove the chicken pieces to cool.
- Make the roux: 3 tbsp canola oil and flour in a small pan. Cook while stirring often until it is a medium brown. Set aside.
- You can cover the pot and let it all sit now until near dinner time. I typically cook what I can in the morning, and stop here.
- When you are getting ready to eat, turn on the burner and begin reheating the jambalaya. Add your sausage now.
- Remove the meat from the chicken bones, discard the skin, chop the meat or shred. Return it to the pot now too.
- When its bubbling, add the roux in chunks and stir to thicken. When it’s all incorporated, then add the shrimp on top and cover for 5 minutes.
- Serve! Over rice, with the chopped scallions and filé powder on the side
Serves: 6 easily