I met my husband when we were both interns for Campus Crusade for Christ at Ohio University. We started dating in February 2008, and one of the first meals I found out that he loved was jambalaya. Problem was though that Ben liked a recipe made by a husband and wife who are really great cooks. So naturally, I was intimidated to make jambalaya for him. I didn’t want to fail, and I didn’t even really have a good recipe. The only other time I had had it was on a mission trip nine years ago in New Orleans, and that jambalaya was excellent! [In retrospect, I could have asked for the “good” recipe… but I make things complicated, so I didn’t. :)]
Fast forward to the present day. I finally got over my fear of not living up to his expectations, and made jambalaya. It may be authentic, it may be not-so-authentic. However, it was well received and tasty, so that’s all that counts, right?!?
Without further ado…
(Not So) Authentic Jambalaya?
à la Eat, Live, Run
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 3 Italian sausages [I used turkey sausage–2 sweet & 1 spicy], cooked & chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup brown jasmine rice
- 2 cups water
- 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 c yellow squash, chopped <– This added such a great summery flavor and crunch to the dish.
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon double concentrated tomato paste <—I love this stuff!!! It’s so worth the price, and sometimes Kroger has it on sale. Score!
In a large, deep pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and then add flour, stirring constantly to make a roux. Add the onions, squash, garlic, and parsley and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until the onions are soft. Add water, tomatoes [diced and paste], rice, pepper, and chili powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for one hour or until rice is cooked. Add chicken and sausage and heat thoroughly.
The original recipe called for andouille sausage, celery, cayenne pepper, and long grain brown rice; I substituted a chicken/Italian sausage mixture, squash, chili powder, and brown jasmine rice because its what I had on hand. I also had to cook it a lot longer than the recipe called for, likely because I added additional rice and meat to satisfy my husband’s palate. 🙂 All in all, I ended up adding approximately an extra 1/2 cup of water and 20-30 minutes of cook time for the rice to fully cook. But boy, was it worth it! 😉 Oh, and this makes a ton. So be ready to eat, serve a crowd, or freeze some leftovers.