When one thinks of what to serve as something special during the Christmas Holiday season one thinks of duck, goose, prime rib, etc. Popular amongst many of holiday celebrators is seafood. Halibut, Lobster Thermidor and Oysters. Boy, just writing this makes my mouth water. Well for this post I’m going to take you down to the Deep South, into the bayou of Louisiana and offer up Jambalaya. This amazing dish is full of rich spicy flavors that will satisfy anyone’s pallet. Even though the list of ingredients seems long it is still a quick and tasty in the gourmet fashion we like here at Shay’s Simple Gourmet.
List of ingredients
- 2 Cups of enriched White Rice
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, once around the pan
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless white for dark chicken meat
- 1 lb. andouille, casing removed and diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
- Several drops hot sauce or 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 2 to 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 (14 ounce) can or paper container chicken stock or broth
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 rounded tsp. dark chili powder
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, raw, deveined and peeled
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- Chopped scallions, for garnish
- Fresh thyme, chopped for garnish
Cook rice to package directions.
Place a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and butter to the pan. Cube chicken and place in hot oil and butter. Brown chicken 3 minutes, add sausage and cook 2 more minutes. Add onion, celery, pepper, bay and cayenne
Sauté vegetables 5 minutes, sprinkle flour over the pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until flour vegetables. Stir in tomatoes and broth and season with cumin, chili, poultry seasoning, and Worcestershire. Bring liquids to a boil and add shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer shrimp 5 minutes until pink and firm. Remove the pot from the heat and place on a trivet. Ladle Jambalaya into shallow bowls. Using an ice cream scoop, place a scoop of rice onto the center of the bowlfuls of Jambalaya.
For that elegant, gourmet look sprinkle dishes with chopped scallions and thyme leaves.
Jambalaya finds its origin in an attempted dish by the Spanish (1800’s) to make paella in which one of the main ingredients is saffron. Not readily available in the new world at that time so tomatoes were used as a substitute. As time went on the French influence became strong in New Orleans and spices from the Caribbean began transforming paella into a unique dish. This dish evolved along a variety of different avenues. Creole jambalaya by the Acadian-Creoles originated around New Orleans. I guess you could tem it as the city jambalaya. Rural Jambalaya or Swamp Jambalaya comes exactly where the name states. It was eaten by those deep in the swamp where economies were less affluent and food essentials were gathered from the land like crawfish, shrimp, oyster, alligator, duck, turtle, boar, venison and whatever game happened to appear that the end of your gunsight. Because of its “rual-ness” it has a much strong, gamey, and smokey and by all means much spicier.