I am EXTREMELY excited about today's post. Today, Chris will be schooling us on AUTHENTIC jambalaya! Now this is not my Chris.. nope, this is my Chris' brother-in-law Chris. You might remember me telling you of the scolding I received when I posted a recipe for Creole Shrimp Pasta - it was not authentic Creole cooking. Ok, I knew it wasn't completely authentic, but whatever. The great thing about it.. I convinced Chris to do a guest post so that you all could see what REAL Creole cooking was all about it. And trust me, this a good read, I laughed out loud a few times when I read it! So, without further ado, please welcome Chris.
This recipe is for a one pot chicken and sausage jambalaya. I am using a 3 gallon cast iron pot. This recipe serves about 12-15 people. As any good coonass knows, there is no real "recipe" for the signature jambalaya. I've summarized the best I can!
2 lbs. smoked sausage (I used Savoie's brand, but Richards is better. If you can't find authentic Louisiana smoked sausage, go to www.cajungrocer.com. It is essential to have good smoked sausage - I can't find it in Pittsburgh. Only choices are Cajun Grocer or invite my dad to come visit and bring a carry-on bag of frozen sausage - your choice!)
2 lbs boneless chicken - thighs are best but I used breasts here
One bunch of celery chopped
Quite a few white onions chopped
A bell pepper or two - red or green or both. I used red.
Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste
3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
8 cups of water
4 cups of uncooked rice - Uncle Ben's Long Grain White Rice ONLY!!!!
At least a case of cold beer - preferably on ice
White bread - preferably Bunny bread
1/4 cup vegetable oil
After having your sous chef (or beautiful wife Rebecca) chop all onions, bell peppers, celery and sausage, you are ready to begin. Fire up the stove, put the cast iron pot on the stove. Grab a beer. Add about 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Once pot gets hot, add sliced sausage.
When sausage gets sizzling good, should be about time for another beer. Grab one. Stir sausage until it begins to render the fat.
After sausage gets nice and rendered, add chicken. Do not slice, chunk or cut chicken. Throw chicken in full pieces. As they cook, they will fall apart perfectly. Just throw them on top of the sausage and season with Tony's.
Alternate between stirring the sausage/chicken mixture and taking swigs of beer. I usually start poking at the chicken to cut it up. If it's thighs, they begin to fall apart. Breasts are not as easy. I actually pulled these out right before they were done and used 2 forks to shred the chicken.
Continue to stir occasionally until sausage gets nice and brown. Grab another beer because it gets tough after this! Once sausage is nice and browned and chicken is done, add all onions, celery and bell pepper to the mix. Add about 1/3 of a small bottle of Tabasco sauce, Tony's seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce.
Stir occasionally in order to alternate the meat to the top and vegetables to the bottom. Probably time for another cold one after all this work. Stir every few minutes to keep it from sticking. **Tip - If meat begins to stick, add a small cup of water, it will immediately boil and allow you to release the stuck meat.**
This is at least a 2-3 beer job as it takes a while for everything to marry. I normally have the stove on medium heat for this. Below is the sequence of events:
Now we are ready to add the water and rice. Add the 8 cups of water and stir. Once this comes to a boil, stir again and then take a taste of the water. The water should be a little saltier and spicier than you like because the rice will soak up. Once you have the water right, slowly add the rice while stirring. Let this mixture come to a boil - this is the trick to taking the starchiness out of the rice.
Once the rice starts to boil, turn the fire down to low, then the hardest part of all for me - leave it alone!!!!! This is the point that you rehydrate yourself. Do NOT open the lid for 15 minutes, DO NOT DO IT!!!!!!!!!
This time is for.....
After 15 minutes, go open the lid, turn the fire off and fold from the bottom a couple of times. Do not stir it, simply fold about 2 times. It should look like this.
Almost ready, but not quite. Turn the fire completely off, cover and walk away. After 30 minutes (or 3 beers, whichever comes first) go open the lid and you're ready to serve. A plate of jambalaya, two pieces of white bread and two Abita Purple Haze beers, you can't go wrong! Enjoy!
P.S. This recipe makes a lot, so let your inner southern hospitality out and share with your neighbors! Or, if you're like me and are a jerk, this makes the best leftovers ever!
P.S.S. GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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