A Family Favorite

There are a couple pages in a little cookbook we have for Louisiana Jambalaya that are spotted with stains from the many times we’ve prepared this delicious dish.  It can be spicy for little ones depending on the type of sausage and amount of cayenne used.  There is something for everyone in this meal – even those who don’t venture into the meat department beyond the chicken breast.  Remember that sweet wine from the 1980s,  Beringer White Zinfandel, the one that cultivated the American wine palette and paved the way for the explosion of the California wine market?  The one that is poured at most 4th of July picnics in the Mid-West but collects dust on the shelves at Sonoma Market?  Well, it goes perfectly with this meal.
This recipe comes from The Best Of New Orleans Cookbook (part of a series of excellent books by Collins publishers of San Francisco).  I double this recipe for 8 people.  This recipe can be made on a week night, start to finish, you can make it in an hour.
2 pounds chicken parts (you choose what you prefer, bone in is better for flavor)
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 T vegetable oil
8 ounces andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, like kielbasa
1 medium onion
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 c up long grain rice
16 ounce can of whole tomatoes in the juice
1 cup fish stock or clam juice
1/2 to 1 cup of water
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound of shrimp, with tails, shelled and deveined
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce to taste
Bring out the mighty Dutch oven and fire up the stove to brown the chicken parts after sprinking them with cayenne.  Brown the sausage in the same pot, remove everything after a few minutes.  Set aside.  Saute the vegetables in the same pot for a few minutes until soft, add the time and rice, stirring frequently for a minute or until coated with oil.  Add tomatoes, breaking them up with the spoon, stir in fish stock and water, and bay leaf.
Return the meat and simmer, covered for about 15 mintues.  Distribute the shrimp over the top pressing them lightly into the rice, cook covered for 15 minutes more or until the chicken and shrimp are cooked through and the rice is tender.  (This  part could also be done in the oven, which I prefer).  If the rice has absorbed all the liquid before it’s done, add more water.  Remove from heat and stir in the green onions and hot pepper to taste.


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