Not being Cajun, I have no idea how authentic this is, but Deanna requested it for her birthday. It was my first try and I pretty much winged it and the kids pretty much raved over it and ate every last scrap. So I’m calling it a success and sharing it with y’all.
Lest anybody get too worked up over measurements, you might like to know that I’m totally making them up. I have no idea how much of anything was in that pot.
Jambalaya (serves 5-10, depending on size, appetite and manners)
1/2 onion, diced
3 Tbs. butter
some people add celery, but my kids begged me not to and I decided to be Nice Mom that day.
Start with a large pot – at least 4 quarts. Saute onion until soft, then add:
3 cups rice Converted rice gives nice un-sticky results, if you don’t mind spending the extra $$. It galls me to pay $$ for something that is supposed to be cheap but it sure is nice rice.
Cook and stir for several minutes. This step isn’t really necessary if you forked out the $$ for converted rice, but if you are using lowly common rice you will get a firmer, less sticky product by doing this.
8 chicken bouillion cubes Let your kids peel them. And yes, let them lick the wrappers.
2 Tbs. cajun seasoning Read the label, and add more. Now more.
1 Tbs. paprika This looks like red food coloring once it’s mixed in, and enhances the kid appeal. Oh, and it tastes good.
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1/2 lb. or more of sliced smoked sausage
chopped ham, browned sausage, or other meat as desired
Cook and stir until thoroughly combined and heated through. A little tip: make sure the bouillion cubes are well-crumbled. Some people don’ t appreciate biting into a mouthful of sodium and msg. Some people do like it, but I don’t cater to them.
8 oz. tomato sauce
6 cups hot water
Now you’re in the home stretch. Just bring it to a boil, cover and simmer about 20 minutes like any other rice dish. No peeking until all the liquid is absorbed or your rice will tend to be sticky. Don’t ask me how you’re supposed to know when the liquid is absorbed without peeking. I didn’t make up the rule. But if you bought converted rice, nobody would know if you peeked.
If you want to add shrimp in true Jambalaya style, just stir it in now that everything else is cooked. Just make sure it’s fully cooked and good to go, because you’re all done cooking. If your shrimp is raw, you’re on your own.
Serve it up and enjoy. That’s what we did.