As we mourn the end of taco month, we reminisce about the good ole days of salsas, homemade tortillas, tostones, and guacamole. We will remember taco month fondly and might even take a moment to think about everything taco month did for us. But, we know taco month would want us to move forward and enjoy the bright future ahead of us. That bright future is one pot meals month.
One pot meals month might not party like taco month did. However, less partying equates to less of a mess afterwards. Taco month brought endless little salsa and guac dishes, multiple pans, limes everywhere. Quite the dish washing hangover. One pot meals month means one pot to clean. OK, the knife and cutting board too. But still, major improvement.
What better way to jump start one pot meals month than with Jambalaya. All I need is a recipe. Jax just posted, here, about cooking without a recipe. I have trouble following recipes. I frequently search the internet for an hour or so in search of the perfect recipe. Then, I don't find it. This was one of those times. Emeril's jambalaya got 5 star reviews but he wanted me to to use only 12 shrimp and cut them up into tiny pieces, allrecipes wanted me to use kielbasa which is Eastern European and everyone kept using Worcestershire sauce which was invented in England. Why the internet can't read my mind is beyond me.
So, in times like these, I turn to wikipedia and other reliable internet sources for guidance about what must and must not be included in whatever I am about to create. Apparently jambalaya isn't supposed to have kidney beans. Sounded good to me, but whatever, I left them out. The onion, celery, and green bell pepper trinity ranks high in importance. Rice is somewhat essential as well. The rest, is up to the person with the growling stomach and wooden spoon.
The following is my version of jambalaya. Note, when I originally made this, the rice was wetter than I prefer. So, this recipe as written has a 1/2 c less chicken broth than what I used.
1 lb chicken, cut into small pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into small half moons
48 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T olive oil or butter, divided
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
2 1/2 c rice
3 1/2 c chicken broth
2 c tomatoes, grated (about 2 large tomatoes) - the grated tomatoes can act as liquid for the purpose of cooking rice. Typically, 2 1/2 c of rice should have 5 c of chicken broth. Here, there is a total of 5 1/2 cups of liquid. The extra 1/2 c of liquid is because the tomatoes do have some solidness to them.
1 T paprika
2 t oregano
1 t thyme
1 T chili powder, or to taste
1 t sea salt, or to taste
lemon cut into wedges, for serving
Heat pan on medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil or butter. Saute the shrimp until the outsides have turned pinkish. About 2 minutes and remove. The shrimp will not be cooked at this point. They will later be added and steamed til cooked.
Add the other T of olive oil or butter. Add chicken and sausage to the pot. Cook until chicken appears cooked and sausage is slightly browned. About 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, onion, celery, bell and poblano peppers and seasonings. Cook until vegetables are softened. About 8 minutes.
Add the rice and stir around so that the rice is coated with the oil and seasonings. This process helps to create a drier rice which is important in certain rice dishes like this and my personal favorite, paella (coming soon!!).
Add the grated tomatoes and the chicken broth. Give it a good stir. Bring to a boil. Give another good stir. Turn the heat down to low so the rice is just simmering. Put on the lid and let the rice cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes. Check it to see how the rice is doing. There should be a little bid of liquid left, and the rice should be close to done. Place the shrimp on top of the rice and place the lid on top. Let the shrimp steam for another 5 minutes. Take off the lid and stir around.
Serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 8 (actually, this could probably feed a small army. Next time I make it, I will definitely be cutting it in half!)