By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA
We have seen Jambalaya recipes where uncooked rice is added to the recipe, similar to making Gumbo. We do not like mushy rice and prefer to serve the rice as a side dish. Due to it’s richness and high fat content we do not make it often, but it is a wonderful dish to make on a cold night and if you are serving a lot of people. There is a lot of chopping and slicing in this recipe. Once you have all the ingredients prepared you are ready to cook.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 40 minutes
- Serves: 4-6 people
Recipe can easily be cut in half, doubled or tripled.
Variations – Use your imagination. You can combine almost any seafood, chicken or any smoked sausage as long the meats and seafood total approximately 3.5 to 4 pounds. If you decide to use all seafood, you will need to reduce the cooking time. Otherwise, your seafood will be overcooked and rubbery. You can make the following substitutions.
- Kielbasa Sausage, chicken, little neck clams and shrimp
- Shrimp, clam, scallops and any firm fish
- Chicken only
- Kielbasa Sausage only
- 2 pounds of Kielbasa Sausage cut into chunks (hot, regular, low sodium or turkey)
- 4-6 (about 2 pounds) chicken thighs, legs or breast cut into large pieces
- 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
- 1 medium, chopped onion (white or red)
- Note: If you double or triple recipe, use 1 very large, chopped onion
- 1 large, chopped, seeded pepper (red or green)
- Note: If you double or triple recipe, use 2 very large, seeded, chopped peppers
- 1 small, seeded, finely chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)
- Note: if you decide not to add jalapeno pepper you may add ¼-1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (optional.)
- 1 cup of sliced celery
- Note: If you double or triple recipe, increase sliced celery to 2 cups or three stalks of celery
- 1 large bay leaf (optional)
- 1 32 ounce can of whole or chopped tomatoes with sauce or liquids
- Note: With a doubled or tripled recipe you do not have to increase canned tomato
- 1 8 oz. bottle of clam juice
- Note: With a doubled recipe use two bottles and with a tripled recipe use 3 bottles of clam juice.
- 1/2 small can of tomato paste (tomato paste can be frozen up to 3 months.)
- Note: With double or triple recipe, use a whole can of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- Note: With double or triple recipe, increase to 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- Note: With doubled or tripled recipes, increase thyme by another teaspoon.
- Salt and black pepper to taste.
- Cut all vegetables and set aside in a large bowl.
- Cut all chicken and sausages in large chunks and set aside in two separate bowls.
- In a small bowl, combine all the spices along with the bay leaf.
Now you are ready to cook:
- In a large stockpot, cover the bottom with vegetable or olive oil and brown the sausages. Set aside.
- In the same stockpot, brown chicken on both sides. Set aside.
- To the same stockpot, add more oil if needed, add chopped garlic and brown. Add chopped vegetables. Cook until wilted (about 3-5 minutes).
- To the cooked vegetables, add browned sausages and chicken, canned tomato, tomato paste, clam juice, spices. Stir. Cook on low heat for about 25-30 minutes until the chicken is done. (If knife easily pierces chicken, it is done.) Taste for seasonings.
Note: If you decide to add clams, add 1-2 pounds of cleaned, little neck clams to the last 10 minutes of cooking time. If you decide to add shrimp, add at the end and cook for additional two minutes.
Enjoy! Serve Jambalaya with rice.