One-pot wonders. They are the saviors of the working woman (or man). The complexities of flavor in this chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe will make it a favorite at your house, just like it is at ours. When I first tried this concoction, we liked it so much I was making it once a week. My son’s girlfriend joined us for dinner a few nights, and this happened to be on the menu every single time! I had to apologize, telling her it really wasn’t the only thing we ever ate. Not sure if she believed me or not. Didn’t matter though—she loved it just as much as the rest of us, and didn’t mind having the dish repeated.
Traditionally, the New Orleans staple has seafood as well as meat, but we love this Martha Stewart quick jambalaya version with andouille sausage and chicken breast. My big cast iron and enamel Dutch oven* is perfect for stewing and simmering this casserole, and it ends up tasting like a dish that’s stewed all day, rather than 30-45 minutes. Sometimes I assemble this before work in the morning, simmer it for the suggested 30 minutes, and then put it in the frig. The whole pot can be reheated in the oven at 350° for about 20-30 minutes at dinner time. If you don’t have that much time to slam down supper, it reheats in the microwave perfectly well, too.
I couldn’t find the Old Bay seasoning from Martha’s recipe, so I subbed in all the seasonings you see listed below. I also found it needed less water than instructed in her recipe, and altered the cooking process a little as well. I’m sure Martha would be proud of me for being my own woman, and making it work for me.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces**
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (or regular paprika)
1/8 teaspoon each dry mustard, cardamom, and ginger
Pinch each of celery salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cloves, and nutmeg
1-2 bay leaves
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
Add onions to pot and sauté for a few minutes alone, then add the rest of the vegetables to pot. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, seasonings, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cut cooled chicken into 3/4-inch pieces, and add to pot with rice. Reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Stir one or twice. Serve.
*A cast iron and enamel pot is a great kitchen helper, and you do not have to spend a fortune on a Le Creuset dish to get good results. Macy’s carries a pot for under $75, and you can always use their 20% off coupons on merchandise (if you’re on Macy’s mail list). My work-horse of a pot was a gift from my son Brandon, when he was a poor college student, no less. He found one for under $40 at Home Goods, and it works wonderfully well. Thanks again, Brandon! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
**NOTE: I use 4 links of andouille sausage, and freeze the additional link in the package for another pot of jambalaya. It’s plenty of meat and flavor, and cuts down on the cost a little.