In the Mardi Gras spirit (and in the spirit of being home alone over spring break with virtually nothing to do but cook and watch the Food Network) I wanted to make something totally out of my comfort zone. Baking and simple savory dishes are definitely where I feel most comfortable in the kitchen so something full of complex spices and flavor like Jambalaya was something very new for me. And I must say, I am especially proud of the way this dish turned out! After researching several different Creole seasoning blends and Jambalaya recipes, I made my own and it was much easier than it looks and super delicious!
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large pieces
3 chicken sausages, casings removed and slices into half inch rounds
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons creole seasoning
Now, it is perfectly fine to use a store bought creole seasoning blend but I am particularly proud of how mine turned out. Most creole seasoning blends call for differing amounts of paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, oregano and thyme. The spice cabinet at my house had just run out of dried thyme so I substituted with herbs de provence which contains thyme, oregano and a few other dried herbs. This substitution worked out particularly well since Louisiana Creole people are descended partly from the French so herbs de provence was a natural flavor addition.
Brigid's Creole Seasoning Blend
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon herbs de provence
Place all of the spices in a small tupperware. Cover and shake to combine.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Place the chicken and chicken sausage into the pot and cook for several minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent and tender. Add rice, chicken stock and canned tomatoes. Stir. Then bring the mixture to a boil,reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender. This should take about fifteen minutes. Finally, stir in hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, and creole seasoning. Enjoy!