Delicious and Healthy Jambalaya!

Delicious and Healthy Jambalaya!

Jambalaya is one of those quintessential dishes of the South, particularly Louisiana.  There are as many recipes for this dish as there are people in that state, I think. But there are two predominant varieties – with tomatoes (red jambalaya) and without (which is more of a brown color). I prefer the tomato version myself, and have included them in this recipe. As you already know about me if you read this blog on any regular basis, I love spicy food. No surprise then, that this recipe makes a pretty spicy dish!

If you prefer a milder version, halve the amount of Creole seasoning and add 1 tsp of kosher salt instead. You can also substitute the andouille sausage with a mild smoked pork or turkey sausage.

This is a terrific version of Jambalaya that uses brown rice and has very little fat content, so is quite good for you.  And it’s absolutely delicious! This recipe serves 4 people generously.

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp , peeled and deveined
1/2 pound cooked andouille sausage , (preferably turkey) sliced
1 small onion , chopped
1 small bell pepper , chopped
3 cloves garlic , minced
2 stalks celery , chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. Creole seasoning (or more to taste)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium
2 bay leaves
2 cups long-grain brown rice
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 scallions, sliced
3 Tbsp chopped chives

Place the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and place over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Cook until just lightly brown.

Add the Creole seasoning, tomato paste, tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add the bay leaves and sliced sausage and stir in the long-grain rice. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers, then cover. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 45-50 minutes. Great jambalaya should be a little wet. Stir in the shrimp and cook a minute or two more until the shrimp turn opaque. Taste and add more Creole seasoning if needed (note the Creole seasoning is quite salty, so taste first).

Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in half the freshly chopped parsley, scallions and chives. Serve garnished with the remaining parsley, scallions and chives and with a vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Crystal) on the side.

Bon appetit!

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