chicken and andouille jambalaya
Do you ever wonder how your life would have turned out if you had made a few different decisions? Where would you be if you had taken that other job, moved to your dream city, or weren’t dating that loser when you met Mr. Right?
As a child of immigrants much of my life was determined by life decisions my parents made before I was old enough to give input. Namely, the decision to move from Germany to California has shaped much of my life.
Several years before my family moved to this country, my aunt and uncle were living in Louisiana, 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. As with most immigration patterns, one tends to relocate to cities where they have friends or relatives. Had my uncle not left his job and home in New Orleans when my parents moved to the states, it’s certain I would have grown up in the South.
New Orleans has always held a special fascination for me and I partly blame this on the missed opportunity to grow up in such an incredible city. Had I been a New Orleanian I might have apprenticed in Emeril’s restaurant, authored a book of Creole-Persian recipes, or just had much better taste in music! But c’est la vie and here I am, 26 years in the Bay Area, visiting NOLA every few years, and cooking creole food to connect to that wonderful culture! Who knows, I still might write my Creole-Persian cookbook someday!
This chicken and andouille jambalaya is a favorite in our home and takes me right back to my trips to New Orleans. Cook up a pot of this and laissez les bon temps rouler!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- one 12.8 ounce package chicken andouille sausage, diced (if you use pork andouille sausage drain any fat that accumulates in the pan after cooking)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes (crushed)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups white basmati rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 stalks green onions, sliced (optional)
- Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a dutch oven and add the sausage. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage is brown and crisp, 5-8 minutes.
- Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
- While the sausage is cooking, combine the paprika, sea salt, dried garlic, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, and ground black pepper in a small bowl, set aside. This will be your creole seasoning.
- Season the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the creole seasoning.
- Heat the remaining oil in the dutch over medium-high heat until it begins to ripple slightly. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is starting to cook, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions to the chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the celery, and bell peppers to the chicken along with 2 teaspoons of the creole seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are softened, 5-8 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, rinse the rice at least twice to remove extra starch.
- Add tomato paste to the chicken, stir to coat, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and water to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the rice and bay leaves to the pot, decrease the heat to low, and cover the pot with its lid (cover the lid with a kitchen towel and secure with a rubber band before covering the pot).
- Cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Check the rice a couple times during cooking to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape anything that sticks to preventing burning the rice.
- Remove the bay leaves, top with green onions, serve with tabasco sauce if desired.