Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mardi Gras Jambalaya

I love Mardi Gras! I am not a pancake person and paczki, while delicious, are not part of my tradition. Of course, I'll eat them, but I don't ever think of them unless I see them in the store. No, what I love for Mardi Gras is King Cake! The first I ever had was from a mix, Mam Papaul's, and when I make it, that's still what I use. I am perfectly okay with buying my King Cake, too, and if you're near Dayton, Ohio, you should get over to Dorothy Lane Market & pick one up this evening! One of these years, I'll do it from scratch & tell y'all about it. Here's the one I made this year:

The other food I love on Mardi Gras is jambalaya. Here's the recipe, from Emeril Lagasse, I use most often. Sometimes I sub shrimp for the chicken, or add it to the chicken, so feel free to do the same. 

Andouille & Chicken Jambalaya
1/2 c. oil
3 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped bell peppers (I'm using red & orange this year)
3 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 tsp. cayenne (I have reduced the  amount when cooking for mild-palated people & have also subbed Cajun seasoning)
1 lb. andouille, cut into 1/4" slices (you can sub chorizo or other smoked sausage)
1 & 1/2 lb. boneless chicken, cut into 1" cubes
3 bay leaves
3 c. white rice (I usually use jasmine rice)
6 c. water (I sub chicken broth)
1 c. chopped scallions

Heat oil in cast iron Dutch oven (you can sub another heavy pot of similar size). Add onions, peppers, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cayenne. Brown the veggies, stirring often, about 20 minutes, until caramelized. Scrape pot to loosen browned particles. Add andouille & cook 10-15 min, stirring often & scraping sides & bottom of pot. Season chicken with 1 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Add chicken & bay leaves to pot. Brown 8-10 min, scraping as you go. Add rice & stir a couple minutes to coat it evenly. Add water, stir to combine, & cover. Cook 30-35 minutes without stirring or peeking, until rice is tender & liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat & let stand a few minutes. Remove bay leaves, add scallions, & stir well. Serves 10-12.

One of these years, I'll get ambitious & do crawfish pie. Yum!

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