Monday, May 16, 2011

Jambalaya Recipe

I've been craving jambalaya ever since I discovered Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage. It is truly the best sausage I've ever tasted. I did some research to find out what spices are in jambalaya and found that thyme is used in almost every recipe I came across. So I came up with my own spice blend using thyme, paprika, and chili powder that really gives the jambalaya great flavor. This dish is savory, slightly sweet (because of the chicken apple sausage), creamy, and delicious. It is a complete meal that Richard and I really absolutely love.

For the rice:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot
1 tomato
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup wild rice blend (uncooked) (I use SunWest Harvest Medley)
1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked)
2-1/2 cups chicken broth

For the meats:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 links of Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage
15-20 medium raw shrimp
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry the carrot and tomato and dice them both, removing the seeds from the tomato. In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the thyme, paprika, chili powder, and pepper (the spice blend).

In a medium pot add the olive oil, carrots, tomato, spice blend, bay leaves, both kinds of rice, and the chicken broth and mix it all together. Turn the heat up to High heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, put a lid on it, lower the heat to Low, and simmer it for 45 minutes.

While the rice is simmering, butterfly the chicken breast and set it aside. Slice the sausage into 1/4 inch slices and set them aside. For the shrimp, remove the shells, make a slice along the dark line and remove the waste, rinse, cut them in half and set them aside.

About 20 minutes before the rice is done, heat a large skillet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, to Medium High heat and cook the chicken breast for about 5-6 minutes per side or until browned and fully cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken from the pan to a cutting board and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Respray the skillet, heat it to High, and add the shrimp. Drizzle a little olive oil over the shrimp, salt and pepper to taste, and saute the shrimp for 2 minutes or until it is cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan. Respray the pan, heat it back to High, and add the chicken sausage slices. Let them sit in a single layer in the pan for about 2 minutes per side until they are browned (they are already fully cooked before you brown them). Leave the sausage in the pan. This layering of flavors in the one skillet is very important to the dish.

When the rice is done, pour it and any liquid into the skillet with the sausage. Heat the skillet to Medium heat and add the shrimp and chicken. Mix it all together until it is well combined. Serve with cajun hot sauce like Crystal - Louisiana's Pure Hot Sauce. Serves 2 adults (and one small child) as a main course.

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