#RecipeShed – Jambalaya

So Keith’s after spicy recipes for his Recipe Shed this week. From one Keith to another, then.

I’ve made this jambalaya a few times now, it’s never failed to get eaten.  Even though you seem to be making loads and loads – the recipe says “serves 8-10”, there’s never as much left as you think there will be.  Usually enough for a lunch, maybe 2, the following day.  Make it as hot and spicy as you want, boost the cayenne pepper, whack in a few scotch bonnet chillies, a generous lug of Tabasco sauce…

Right, Clive. Quick spin round the ingredients then back to me…

  • 4-5lb chicken with giblets
  • Bouquet garni
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 2oz oil/butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced, including the green parts
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 8oz smoked sausage, diced
  • 4oz cooked ham, diced
  • 1lb tin of tomatoes, roughly chopped, and their juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp chopped thyme
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 whole allspice, crushed, or 1/4tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
  • 10-12oz long-grain rice
  • 6oz cooked and peeled prawns
  • salt (and plenty of it!)

First stage is entirely optional and can be shortcutted by substituting 1 cooked chicken from the supermarket and 1/2 pint chicken stock from a cube but trust me, if you make the stock yourself it’s so much nicer.  Don’t forget salt.

  1. Put the chicken in a heavy-based pan with the giblets, bouquet garni and water.  The recipe does not state “and salt” here. It should. I always chuck in a good couple of teaspoons of salt here otherwise your chicken stock is very bland.  More salt now means much less salt later.
    Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender (alternatively, if you’ve a pressure cooker, give it a blast for half an hour at full steam).  Strain the stock from the pan and reserve.  Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then remove the flesh from the bones and cut into strips.  Dice the chicken liver, if  liked.  Discard the rest of the giblets, bones and skin (again, if you’ve pressure-cooked the chicken the bones will be lovely and soft. Your dog will love you forever).  Clean any scum from the pan.  When cold, skim off the fat from the surface of the chicken stock.
  2. Heat the oil or butter in the pan, add the vegetables including the garlic, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.  Stir in, basically, everything apart from the rice, prawns and salt.  Add 1/2 pint of the reserved chicken stock and return the sliced chicken and diced liver, if using, to the pan.
  3. Rinse the rice under cold running water and add to the pan.  Bring the contents to the boil, add salt, then cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed.  If the Jambalaya looks too moist, remove the lid towards the end of the cooking time to allow the remaining liquid to evaporate.  Five minutes before the end of cooking time, stir in the prawns.  Before serving, fish out the bay leaf, season to taste with salt and add extra cayenne pepper if you like a spicy flavour.

You can also chuck one or more whole chilli peppers into the mix with the rice and fish the out, as you do the bay leaf.

Now.  That’s my entry for “spicy”.  And I bet you thought I was going to do a curry!

2 Replies to “#RecipeShed – Jambalaya”

    1. There are a lot of ingredients, but there’s not much of any of them, so it’s a great one to make with the leftover stuff at the end of the week. This is my Friday “I can’t really be bothered doing much” dish. Stock pretty much makes itself (and there’s plenty of stock to make some noodle soup, and spare chicken as well), chuck the rest of the stuff in the pan, leave it alone. Add rice, leave it alone some more. Perfect.

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