Do you ever just get hit by an intense craving for some completely random dish? That is what inspired me to make this jambalaya. A craving and the fact that I had never made it before and decided I had to try soon. So I turned to the folks from Cook’s Illustrated who have concocted yet another fantastic and classic recipe. The weather here has finally started to cool down a little so rich and slightly spicy comfort food sounds just perfect.
The other day my boyfriend remarked on how my cooking has a certain distinctness to it because I always use fresh ingredients and fresh herbs. Somehow though, in the midst of the holiday craziness, I completely forgot to add parsley to this dish. Now I know parsley isn’t a super flavorful herb and doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. However, I think that even the smallest taste of fresh earthiness makes enough difference that it may not register exactly what it is that’s made the difference but you know it’s good.
What have you been craving lately?
Taste: So savory and delicious with a slight spice. If your andouille sausage isn’t very spicy go ahead and add more cayenne.
Texture: Tender, meaty, rich, and crave-worthy.
Ease: The food processor does much of the prep work while everything pretty much goes in one bowl to cook.
Appearance: Jambalaya, like most savory comfort food, probably won’t win any beauty contests. AND I forgot to garnish with parsley. Sorry jamby.
Pros: Ultimate satisfying meal for cold weather.
Would I make this again? Yes.
How to make Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
Yield: 4-6 servings
If you don't have a food processor, chop the vegetables finely by hand with a sharp knife.
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium celery rib, cut into quarters
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
8 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (1/4 cup of juice reserved)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 pound large shrimp (31-40 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I forgot this. Oops!)
In a food processor, pulse the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until chopped fine, about six 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over-process.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the andouille. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the chopped vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, salt, thyme, and cayenne, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, clam juice, broth, bay leaves, and browned sausage to the pot, stirring to combine. Remove and discard the skin from the chicken before adding back to the pot over the rice, skinned-side down. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, keeping the chicken on top, skinned-side down. Cover again and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Scatter the shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is tender and the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
While the shrimp cook, shred the chicken. When the shrimp are cooked, remove the pot from heat, discard the bay leaves, and stir in the parsley and shredded chicken. Serve immediately.
© Handle the Heat - handletheheat.com