This is a breakfasty spin on jambalaya that would be welcome as any meal of the day. Rather than using chicken or shrimp or alligator, I used bacon and eggs, classic breakfast staples. Everything is cooked in the same Dutch oven, though in several stages, so the flavors build throughout the creation of the dish. (Plus you only have one pot to scrub later!) The bacon is cooked first, then set aside to remain crispy. The eggs are cooked next, allowing them to absorb tiny residual bits of bacon, then set aside to remain fluffy. The veggies sweat in the pan next, allowing them (with a splash of water if needed) to deglaze any egg and bacon fond from the bottom of the pan. The rice and broth are cooked alongside the sausage and veggies. The bacon and eggs are folded in at the end. The final dish is hearty one-pot meal, with loads of flavor in every bite. Laissez les bon temps rouler! —hardlikearmour
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Hardlikearmour's a veterinarian and an accomplished cook (she has nearly 100 Community Picks!).
WHAT: Jambalaya gone breakfast and gone speedy.
HOW: Cook bacon, scramble eggs, then set them aside and use the flavors in the pot to jumpstart jambalaya. When the rice is cooked, fold the bacon and eggs back in.
WHY WE LOVE IT: A weeknight-friendly jambalaya crossed with the never-fail bacon-and-eggs duo? Come on! The result is as cozy and hearty as you might expect. We would eat it any time of day. —The Editors
8 (6 if you're really hungry)
large red bell pepper
medium garlic cloves
plus 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (make sure it's a blend with salt), divided
Finely dice the celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. (Finer dice = more surface area = more flavor.) You can do so by hand or by pulsing in a food processor. If you go the food processor route, cut the veggies into 1 1/2 inch chunks first, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl every couple of pulses, and do not make a veggie purée. Set aside.
Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4 to 1/3-inch slices. Place in a large Dutch oven with 1/2 cup water, then heat over medium, stirring occasionally until the water evaporates, the bacon fat renders, and the bacon becomes crisp, about 8 minutes.
While the bacon is cooking, combine the eggs and 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl, and beat lightly. Set aside. Slice the andouille sausage into 1/4-inch thick slices crosswise or on the bias. Set aside. Pour the chicken broth into a quart glass measure. Add the Worcestershire sauce and enough water to bring the total volume to 3 cups. Set aside.
Use slotted spoon to fish out the bacon, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Pour most of the fat into a heat-proof container, leaving about 2 to 3 tablespoons in the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to low, then add the eggs. Cook, scraping the bottom frequently, as for scrambled eggs. Once the eggs are cooked but still moist, transfer the eggs to a plate and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons bacon fat to the pan, then the sausage and diced vegetables. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir frequently, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water if needed to facilitate getting the bottom "clean." Once the vegetables have softened, add the rice and remaining tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Stir until the rice is coated with oil. Add the broth mixture, and bring to a boil. Carefully taste a small amount of the broth, and add salt if needed (this will depend on your seasoning blend). Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the rice is fully cooked, about 17 to 20 minutes, stirring once midway.
While the rice is cooking, mince the parsley. Once the rice is done, remove the pot from the heat. Fold in the bacon, eggs, and parsley. Cover and let sit for a couple of minutes so everything is heated through. Serve, accompanied by Louisiana hot sauce.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.