My dad made jambalaya while I was in New Orleans, and it reminded me that I really like jambalaya! Because apparently I forgot. Or, more likely, I had a bowl of mediocre jambalaya and it turned me off. But his? Was superb. So today I am making jambalaya. From scratch.
The meat: a 13-oz package of aundouille sausage, 16-oz package of smoked sausage - I sliced the sausage and measured it in a bowl, then measured out an equal measure of leftover roasted turkey, diced.
The veggies: 3 cups each sliced celery, chopped white onion, chopped bell pepper. Eight toes of garlic, diced. One bunch of green onions, chopped.
I started out with a pound of bacon. Delicious, delicious bacon. Fry the bacon until crispy in the bottom of a large stock pot or dutch oven. I used my largest Le Cruset french oven. Remove the bacon and set it out to blot, leaving the drippings in the pot.
Add the veggies to the bacon grease and sautee until tender. At this point, I poured the veggies into a strainer, gave it a shake, then poured back into the pot, because the act of putting the veggies into the bacon grease was counterintuitive enough, but keeping the bacon grease in the pot the whole time was more than I could bear.
When the veggies are tender, add the chicken and sausage. Stir it up, little darling, stir it up.
Add four cans of stewed tomatoes and six cups of chicken broth. Stir it up some more. Add seasoning -- I did not measure but in order of most to least quantity added: thyme, crushed red pepper, paprika, basil, oregeno. You could use a "cajun seasoning" premixed type thing if you have it. I was out of cayenne pepper, so I added a few dashes of liquid cayenne pepper/hot sauce. The powdered cayenne would have been preferable.
Bring to a boil. Add six cups of rice. Bring to a boil again. Cover and simmer.
At this point, I should have a big pot of delicious jambalaya. But instead? My rice is not quite cooked. CRAP.
I added four more cups of chicken broth and brought to a boil again, covered and simmered. And this time? I DID end up with a big pot of delicious jambalaya, albeit a little bit mushier than I would prefer.
Now, add the bacon from earlier, crumbled and chopped, and 1 lb of cooked shrimp. Mix it in and.... we're done!
The jambalaya was so delicious that we dug in and ate without getting a photo of the finished product, so this is a hijacked photo from Google Images. Mine was equally as lovely, though, take my word for it!