Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Chicken Sausage Red Jambalaya

My last two posts on Jambalaya were Shrimp Jambalaya and a Brown Chicken Jambalaya. This time I am going to post another New Orleans style of Jambalaya with a creole influence. The tomatoes add to the flavors married together. This is the home style jambalaya I remember from living on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. You can use substitute shrimp, crab, or any meat you have on hand.

  • 1 lb Boneless Chicken Breast or Thigh
  • 1 lb Smoked Andouille or Kielbasa Sausage
  • ½ stick Butter
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 Bay (Laurel) Leaves
  • ¼-½ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbs. Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco® Sauce
  • 1 tsp. roux - dark caramel color
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 10-oz can Rotel Tomatoes/Green Chilies
  • 1 cup White Rice uncooked
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning Mix
  1. Chop the vegetables.
  2. Wash chicken thoroughly.
  3. Cut the chicken into half-inch cubes.
  4. Slice sausage into bite sized pieces
Sauté Meat and Vegetables
  1. Heat a large, heavy dry pan over high heat.
  2. Brown the sausage.
  3. Remove sausage from pan with slotted spoon
  4. Reserve drippings for next step.
  5. Brown the chicken in the remaining oil.
  6. Return sausage to pan
  7. Add butter, onion, celery, garlic and peppers.
  8. Sauté until vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Add the tomato paste to the pan
  10. Stir to prevent burning as you caramelize the sugars in the paste slightly.
  11. Add the Rotel diced tomatoes.
  12. Stir well to get those tasty bits off the bottom of the pan.
  13. Add the Worcestershire sauce, roux and seasoning.
  14. Season to taste with Tabasco®.
  15. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or so.
Mix and cook the jambalaya
  1. Add the uncooked rice and broth to the meat and vegetable mixture.
  2. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the mixture.
  3. Add water if needed.
  4. Cook in a heavy walled pot until the rice is soft, but firm.
  5. Keep the lid on the pot, especially once the mixture comes to a boil.
  6. Do not stir the pot or peek!
Makes 4-6 Servings
Final Notes:

A good jambalaya should be moist. It is best served and eaten right after it is finished cooking. After sitting too long, the rice absorbs the moisture and the jambalaya drys out.

I also like to use a rice cooker to cook this dish. A rice cooker makes it easy and foolproof. Besides with the tomatoes adding more sugars that can scorch to the mix you can use all the help you can get. The rice cooker automatically cuts off when the rice is done, so you never burn the rice and the jambalaya is always cooked just right.

Some say a rice cooker is just another gadget. But I say if you like rice and low temperature cooking a rice cooker is a handy tool. After all, several billion Asians can't be wrong. Personally I like to automate some of the mundane tasks so I can get on to the fun stuff and eventually get to eat.

Some Thoughts on Brining

I have been busy recently doing some research into brining meats. This new mania started out with an experiment on brining wild game. Some of the most well known brined meats are corn beef and pastrami. For lean meats such as pork and venison it can add a lot of juiciness to the cut of meat.

Ok... So just what is the difference between brining and marinating? Both are a wet precooking process; each method has it's special usage. So I counted off the various items that are needed for each method. In the end it looks like a question of Ph whether you use an Acid or a Base.

Brines versus Marinades


Is the process of soaking meat in a saline solution. The brine solution permeates throughout the meat to enhance moisture. Other spices can be added to the saline solution to impart flavor. Whether or not the spices impart any significant flavor is debated by some. The primary ingredients used for a brine are water, salt, sugar, and spices.


Is the process of soaking meat in an acidic solution, typically a vinegar and oil solution. Other spices are usually added to the solution to impart flavor. The meat is tenderized by the acid breaking down the cell structure of the meat. The primary ingredients used for a marinade are an acidic liquid, oil, sugar, and salt.

Brining Information Sites