Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's tailgate time...jambalaya style

Well it was homecoming this weekend in Happy Valley, the weather and the food was great (wish the same could be said about the football). Well a bunch of folks from my New Orleans ventures were going to be coming, so I decided to make Jambalaya. In all the excitement I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do. I went with the ever popular chicken and sausage version.

For some strange reason you simply can not get Andouille sausage in State College. Don't ask me why because you most certainly can get it in Bucktown. I used Keilbasa instead. First things first, cut up two keilbasas into rounds and brown them. Don't cook them all the way, just brown them. I made the entire dish on a camp stove in a Dutch oven. While the sausage was browning I had my sous chef (Peter) prep the chicken. Two pounds of boneless thighs went into one inch cubes. Remove the sausage and brown the chicken, again not cooking it all the way through. I also seasoned at this point. Black pepper and Cayenne to taste. It came out to be about a three teaspoons of cayenne.

Then the holy trinity of Cajun food came into the picture. The Trinity is a combination of celery, onion and bell pepper. It's a lot like the French Mirepoix, and is used the same way. I had the trinity prepared ahead of time.

That's, six stalks of celery, five onions, and three bell peppers. I threw some shallots in there just for fun.

The trinity, the sausage, and the chicken all go into the dutch oven. Mix it up nicely. To that add three smashed cloves of garlic, and seven sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover the entire mixture with 48oz of chicken stock, a can of chopped tomatoes and three Yuengling lagers. About two pounds of rice go into the pot next, I used long grain brown rice.

If you simmered this mixture for a bit and cooked the rice seperate, you'd have a pretty good gumbo.

Anyway, simmer the mixture until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. Scrapping the bottom of the dutch oven is very important here, all that good stuff that got stuck while we were browning the sausage and chicken can come up now. That's called flavor.

There you have it, a really easy one pot jambalaya that's perfect for tailgating.

The real reason why I make Jambalaya.

*sorry about the quality of the pictures, between the weather, the beer and the stump I had a lot going on.