Jambalaya

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If you were to look at my DVR, you’d be a little concerned at the number of Food-based shows I record and watch. Religiously. It’s like a crack for me.
I love, love, love the show called, The Chew. If you’ve never seen it, record one episode! Please. You’ll love Mario Batali’s incredible food knowledge and spicy attitude, Michael Symon’s hilarious laugh and delicious meals, and Clinton Kelly’s fantastic smile and amazing demeanor.
I saw this recipe on The Chew a few weeks ago, and it had two of my favorite things: Mario Batali + Cajun food. Nothing could be better for me. Truly. Okay, maybe if I were to ever eat Cajun food with Mario Batali, that might be better.

Jambalaya
This recipe is extremely simple and delicious {and cheap to make}! It’s perfect for a crowd, too. If you’ve got more than 8 folks coming for dinner, just double the recipe. The only thing you’ll need to do is make sure you’ve got a big enough pot.
Andouille can sometimes be hard to find, but it’s usually located in the section near your bacon in your grocery store. Here’s the kind I used:
Jambalaya
I would definitely suggest making the Creole seasoning. I tried substituting with Tony Chachere’s seasoning, and it just did not taste that great. With the Creole seasoning, you have a lot more control over the salt you’re putting into the meal, whereas with Tony’s… it would basically turn out to be a salt lick in the form of rice and meat!
Jambalaya

Jambalaya

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, sliced (or leave out if you don’t like super spicy)
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups chicken stock
3 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
1/2 cup green onions, sliced (plus more for garnish)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Creole Seasoning
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Mix all ingredients for the Creole seasoning, divide in half, and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken and shrimp with half the Creole seasoning, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set shrimp aside (or put in the fridge). Cook the Andouille sausage and chicken in batches in the Dutch oven until browned, remove, and drain on paper towel.

To the Dutch oven, add 2 tbs. more oil (if needed). Sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture, tomatoes, bay leaves, rice, stock, and hot sauce. Fold in the sausage and chicken, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally, but do not over work the rice.

**If you are entertaining, you can keep the jambalaya warm at this point until about 10 minutes before serving. Just cover the pot and remove from the heat. It will stay warm for a while. If needed, you can also put the pot in a 170 degree oven. Just make sure when you put the shrimp back in that your pot is warm. Feel free to put the pot back on the stove for heat to cook the shrimp, too. The bottom line is, there’s plenty of time for you to spend entertaining before you come back to finish the cooking.**

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Add shrimp to the pot, stir gently, cover again, and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, just until shrimp are pink and tender. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Adapted from my hero’s, Mario Batali, recipe

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