In many ways, a recipe is like a fingerprint. While the basic curves and contours are always the same, each has an identity of its own. From the portions and ingredients down to the size of the dice and the speed of the whisk, there is always some level of inherent uniqueness to any one recipe. This individuality may not always be apparent at first-glance – a finger-tip is, after all, a finger-tip – but look close enough and you will find it.
Jambalaya, a New Orleans classic, is particularly well-suited to this individuality. The basic structure of jambalaya centers around the “trinity” — celery, onion, and peppers. Rice is almost essential,and andouille sausage is also very traditional. But from those basic starting points, the recipe can be shaped and contoured to your liking.
And when talking about a home-cooked meal with New Orleans roots, it’s bound to be to your liking!
Brown Rice Jambalaya with Chicken and Sausage
WHAT TO GRAB: 4 links of andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces. Pulled chicken from three roasted chicken breasts (see recipe below) 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup red wine 1 large onion, diced (I used Vidalia) 2 celery stalks, diced 3 garlic cloves,minced 1 poblano pepper, diced 2 teaspoons flour 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 2 to 3 dashes Tabasco Sauce 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain) 1 cup uncooked, medium or long grain, brown rice 2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup to 1 cup water
HOW TO DO IT:
1. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350 for 35 minutes. Allow to cool, and then pull the meat. Reserve the bones to make homemade chicken stock.
2. Slice the andouille sausage into approximately 1/2 – 1 inch chunks. Heat a large skillet or Dutch Oven and one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and cook the sausage, turning once or twice until nicely browned. Remove sausage from pan and reserve.
3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Once the red wine has evaporated, heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion, celery, and pepper. When the onion begins to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes, add the garlic and cook another minute or two, watching that the garlic does not burn.
4. Add the flour, spices, and Tabasco sauce, and mix well. Cook for another minute or two.
5. Add the chicken stock and 1/2 cup of water, diced tomatoes with juice, and the brown rice. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Check the liquid after 30 minutes and add water if it seems dry. After 40 minutes, add the pulled chicken and sausage, and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes, just until everything is nicely mixed and heated.
6. Serve warm!