Jambalaya: a feast with a mouth-watering, shouldering taste

JambalayaA meld of left-overs to warm your heart on a blustery day.

On a cold blustery day isn’t it great to come home to a waiting hot meal that’s ready to be devoured? The shouldering, mouth watering taste of Jambalaya, can set your heart racing and heat you up from the inside out.

I thought I might start off with something a little different this time, a little history lesson – of sorts. The Dictionary of American Food and Drink offers this creative urban legend regarding the origin of “Jambalaya”

One evening a traveling man stopped by a ‘New Orleans’ inn. The inn had little food remaining from the evening meals already served. The traveler asked the cook, “Jean, balayez!” or “Jean, put all you have left together!” in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as “Jean balayez.” This story is thought to be false, the dictionary says.

The Oxford English Dictionary says “jambalaya” comes from the Provençal word “jambalaia,” meaning a mishmash, and also meaning a pilau (pilaf) of rice. This is supported by the fact that the first printed appearance of the word is in a Provençal poem published in 1837.

Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It has a close cousin in the saffron-colored  paella found in Spain.

Ingredients
6 pieces, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
4 large hot Italian sausages or chorizos
1 large can of tomatoes diced with juice
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large bell yellow pepper chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 knob of butter (about a tablespoon)
4 sticks of celery chopped
2 litres of chicken broth
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp chilli pepper dried
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
1 ½ cups of long grain rice

Method

Put your slow cooker on low, cooking for eight hours. Slice the Italian sausage or chorizo and place in a wide, deep frying pan, adding a little butter.  Even fry for five minutes, flipping once. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in your slow cooker. Add your cubed chicken and cook for five minutes, turning so as not to burn the chicken. Once the chicken is heated through, place in your slow cooker.

Then to the pan add chopped pepper, onion, celery and mushrooms, stirring occasionally. Cook for five minutes, and place in your slow cooker.

Finally, add the can of chopped tomatoes to the hot pan and stir in your herbs and spices. When warm, place in your slow cooker. Once all the ingredients are in the slow cooker add to it your two litres of chicken broth. Place the lid on the slow cooker and look forward to coming home to the welcoming aroma.

When you return home, stir your Jambalaya and add  the 1½  cups of rice, return the lid and wait for half an hour.

You can add at this time if you like half a bag of frozen shrimp to give it a New Orleans feel and add a little Tabasco for an added kick.

Originally posted by Ian Leatt on http://lifestyles55.ca

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