Inspired by this recipe and the leftovers from a roasted chicken, last Wednesday I made “jambalaya.” It seemed appropriate, though maybe it would have been more appropriate on Tuesday? I’m not a Lent/Mardi Gras expert, though.
Anyway, I put “jambalaya” in quotes since a large part of it was winged, I used none of the extra meats beyond that leftover chicken and some chicken (!) andouille (the only kind of andouille at the “Valencia Farmers Market”/bodega near my house—not a choice I was pleased with). But goodness if it wasn’t delicious… and really easy! I will definitely be turning to this fake jambalaya more in the future. It’s pretty much on par with fried rice as far as a good, easy way to use up stuff in the fridge. Turns out Cajun* seasoning can really take you a long way.
Easy “jambalaya” for two (with seconds/leftovers)
(Inspired/based on Serious Eats’ Grilled Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. Turns out, according to Wikipedia, this is a “white” jambalaya—which sounds faked/quote-mark-worthy to me—because the meat is cooked separately from the rice. Fair enough. I’ll take it on a weeknight.)
- ~1/3 a leftover cooked chicken (both white and dark meat), torn up into bite-size chunks
- 1 andouille sausage, sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 can of diced/chopped tomatoes (or equivalent fresh tomatoes)
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 leeks (if you have endless leeks from your CSA, like me) or 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (~1 tbsp)
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp Louisiana style hot sauce
- 1/2 cup white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth/stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
Place stockpot/large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering, then add onions, pepper and celery. Cook until veggies are softened (7-10 minutes). Then add the garlic, a couple tsp of salt, 1 tsp black pepper, the hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning. Cook for two minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat grains with oil/spice/veggie mixture. Then add the chicken stock, bay leaf and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until rice is fully cooked, 20-30 minutes. Add the chicken and sausage and cook for ~5 minutes until heated through. Serve with garlicky wilted greens (any kind will do).
*The recipe calls for Creole seasoning, but I have Cajun and that’s what I used. A quick Google search doesn’t clarify the difference, as it’s more focused on the difference between the two cuisines and not the spice blends you buy from the grocery aisle. :)