The first recipe we attempted is from the Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, page 500. Yes, page 500 and there are 342 more fully illustrated pages in this humungous tome! I selected this dish because the Jambalaya that is so prevalent in the DC area has two things that I don’t associate with New Orleans Jambalaya: tomatoes and pasta.
Like many Cajun and Creole dishes, there must be a thousand and one different nuances and ways to prepare them, but when I first had Jambalaya, back in the late 80’s/early 90’s it was at the restaurant (Beacham’s Jazz & Blues Club) that was attached to the concert hall (the Beacham Theatre) I worked at in Orlando. The owners of the both the theatre and restaurant/jazz & blues nightclub) were from New Orleans and Baton Rouge respectively, and they had particular notions about the right way to prepare New Orleans style dishes. That ‘right way’ colors my definition. Tomatoes and pasta don’t fit in that definition.
Since then, I’ve been on the look out for recipes that fit my particular taste. I believe this one does. Its not soupy, it has big chunks of meat (pork, chicken and andouille sausage), nary a tomato and the standard ingredients for almost all good New Orleans recipes: onions, green peppers, celery, green onions, black pepper and parsley.
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Yields: 6 serving
- 1# cubed pork butt
- 1# cubed chicken breast
- 1# sliced andouille sausage
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 cups diced celery/li>
- 1 cup diced bell peppers
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- salt & black pepper to taste
- Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
- 4 cups uncooked long grain rice
In a 2 gallon cast iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute pork 30 minutes or until dark brown on all sides and beginning to stick to bottom of pot.
(Note: He’s not kidding, it seems weird, but it does take this long.)
This process is very important as the brown color of jambalaya is derived from the meat.
(Note: Make sure you turn on the vent, or your house will smell like cooked meat for several days if you don’t!!!)
Stir in chicken and andouille sausage. Reduce heat to medium and stir fry 10-15 minutes. Tilt pot to one side and ladle out all oil except for one large cooking spoonful.
(Note: I took out too much, so I wonder what size is ‘one large cooking spoonful‘ really?)
Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Continue to cook until all vegetables are well caramelized, being careful not to scorch them.
Pour in stock, bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir in mushrooms, green onions and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. If desired, slightly over season dish since rice has not been added.
Add rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook 30 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Do not uncover except to stir. When cooked, stir and let steam 10 minutes.
Post cooking notes
Makes about 8-10 servings! Very happy with this first recipe, and ate this four more times for dinner this week. Seems to freeze well. Best reheated via stove top with a bit of water.