Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jambalaya - ya ya!

I've been making this recipe for years. The best thing about this version is that it's baked instead of boiled. This gives it a nice crispy texture, as opposed to a gummy one. It's a really basic, easy one dish meal. If you can't find tasso - use a good smoked ham and add a little extra spice.

Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound tasso, chopped into small cubes
1 pound boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
2/3 cup each of finely chopped onion, celery and red bell peppers
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme's seafood spice (you should be able to find at your local grocery, or use another cajun spice mix)
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/2 cups uncooked converted rice (really - you should buy a box of this rice just for this - it keeps the grains separate and cooks up perfectly - this was the first time I didn't use it as I was out, and it wasn't as good)

Melt the butter and cook the tasso for a couple min. then add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 min then remove to a 8x8 inch square baking pan. Add to the pan the onions, celery and bell peppers (holy trinity!) and cook until tender about 15 min. Add in the garlic and spices and cook another couple min. Pour into the baking pan along with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until tender but it still has some texture, about an hour. Stir and remove bay leaf. Serve with some tabasco on the side for those with spicy tendencies.

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