Junior year of high school I went on a spring break trip to New Orleans to help build houses after Hurricane Katrina. While I managed to try authentic shrimp po-boys, bourbon bread pudding, gumbo, and beignets, I somehow missed jambalaya.
Every Sunday, my roommate and I have dinner with one of our close guy friends. Since we had today off thanks to Presidents Day, we made tonight Sunday dinner night. Always up for a theme, I decided we had to celebrate Mardi Gras being tomorrow with homemade jambalaya. Traditionally, jambalaya has a couple different types of meat, but because I'm not the biggest meat eater, I decided to compromise by using all natural chicken sausage and red beans. While still not a "health meal," my version of jambalaya is lower in fat than most recipes I've seen, yet still has a full punch of spice and flavor.
|House of Blues in NOLA: best honey cornbread I've ever had|
In my search for a recipe, I learned that there are two kinds of jambalaya: Cajun and Creole. The difference: Cajun recipes have tomatoes in them. I love tomatoes and the flavor they give rice dishes, so it was an easy choice to go with a Cajun base recipe.
Word of warning: this recipe feeds an army. All three of us were STUFFED, yet there is at least five servings worth of leftovers -- guess I know what I"ll be having for lunch this week ;)
Spicy Red Bean and Chicken Sausage Jambalaya
Adapted from Eat Good 4 Life
What you need:
- 2 peppers (I used an orange and a green to add color), diced
- 1 1/2 carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 3 spicy chicken sausages (I used Trader Joe's Italian Style Chicken Sausages, which I HIGHLY recommend!)
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 15-oz can red beans, no salt added
- 3 Tbs Cajun seasoning
- 2 cups brown basmatti rice
- 5 cups chicken stalk
- Cut up all the vegetables
- Put olive oil in large saucepan. Slice up the sausages and cook them over high heat in the oil until browned. Remove the sausages from saucepan and place in bowl.
- Add diced vegetables and garlic to saucepan. Cook about 5 minutes. Then add diced tomatoes and beans. Cook about another minute.
- Add in rice, Cajun seasoning, and 5 cups of chicken stalk. Bring to a simmer and cover. Being cheap college kids we don't have lids for our saucepans, so I used foil instead and it worked just fine.
- Once rice is cooked (took me about 40 minutes) add the sausage back in. Reduce heat to low and cover until ready to serve.
Having absolutely nothing to do with Mardi Gras, tomorrow night m roommate and I are going to see Flogging Molly! Getting ready for St. Paddy's day a month early!