Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Jambalaya that bested Bobby Flay

Let me start by saying I looovvve Bobby Flay, and when I watch his show Throwdown!, I always secretly pray that he wins. This Jambalaya recipe won over his, so I just have to find out why oh why.

I met Chris through my friend Robbie in one of our night out; they play kickball together. He is originally from New Orleans, and oh boy, how he loves New Orleans. The week after our meeting, he went home for a Bachelor's Party, and came back with this book, Commanders Wild Side for me from the critically acclaimed, James Beard awardee restaurant Commander's Palace. Thanks, Chris G.!

I am fortunate to live near Cajun Meat Company, where one can get authentic Andouille Sausage in the Metro Atlanta area, and other equally good Cajun/Creole ingredients and food -- can you say Turducken? It's a deboned Turkey stuffed with sausage stuffed deboned duck stuffed with sausage stuffed deboned chicken stuffed with cornbread! Out of this world yumm-mey!

According to the authors, "Jambalaya is a true one-pot wonder: It has rice, meat and vegetables all in one. It's stick-to-your-ribs food that everyone in New Orleans cooks up for Mardi Gras parties". The original recipe called for smoked goose, but it's a work night, so cut me some slack here - I used a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Rotisserie Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya
from the Commander's Wild Side by Ti Adelaide Martin & Tory McPhail

4 t unsalted butter
One Rotisserie chicken, meat removed & cut into bite size pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 in thick slices
2 onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chooped
20 (yes, 20!) garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 T Creole seasoning
6 cups chicken stock
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
3 cups long grain white rice, rinsed thoroughly
Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the chicken, andouille, onions, bell peppers, garlic, celery, bay leaves and 1 1/2 T of the creole seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are caramelized and a brown crust has developed in the bottom of the pot, 10 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, remaining 2 T of the creole seasoning, salt, pepper and tabasco. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. This flavors the liquid, which is the key to a flavorful jambalaya. The liquid should taste well seasoned, but not overly salty ot too spicy. If seasoning is added later, after the rice is cooked, then the rice will taste flat, not deep and rich. The rice will not have had the opportunity to soak up the flavorful liquid as it cooks. Stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook, stirring halfway through, until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leave. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Verdict? Very good. Himself ate two plate-fulls, and that says it all.

1 comment:

  1. Finally a good recipe for Jambalaya! I'm a born and bred New Orleans girl and it's good to see a great recipe. Kudos!