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Author Notes: After years of tooling with and re-tooling our go-to Jambalaya recipe, we think we've come up with the best Jambalaya we've ever tasted, and our friends agree. Loaded with sausage, shrimp, ham, chicken and Cajun flavors, we think you'll agree this is the perfect dish for Mardi Gras and chilly winter nights. —Sarah
- 3-5 pounds fryer (or equivalent chicken pieces - white and dark meat), cooked
- 1 pound hot smoked sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup smoked ham, diced
- 1-2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh diced tomatoes with juice reserved
- 3 cups chicken broth, plus additional as needed (homemade preferred)
- 1 cup green onions, sliced thin, plus additional for garnish as desired
- 1 cup fresh or frozen okra (optional)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Crystal recommended)
- 3 cups long grain white rice, rinsed under cold water in sieve until water runs clear)
- Cut cooked chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Rinse rice (important), and then par-boil by bringing 6 cups of water to a boil and cooking the 3 cups rice according to package directions, covered, for 10 minutes. Once done, set aside in a bowl.
- In a large pot, saute' sausage slices over medium until cooked through; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the drippings. Deglaze sausage bits from bottom of pot with a splash of white wine.
- Add oil to pot and saute' pepper, celery and onions 6-7 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and saute' 1 more minute.
- Add diced tomatoes and juices, chicken broth and green onions to the pot and stir to fully incorporate ingredients. Add tomato paste and seasonings and stir to combine.
- Stir in the par-boiled rice. Ad sausage, chicken and ham (and okra, if desired), and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
- After most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and a consistent liquid balance has been achieved, add the shrimp, gently fold in until well distributed, and cook uncovered until shrimp are pink, about 3-7 minutes. IMPORTANT: shrimp to not take long to cook. Watch them carefully.
- Serve with warm, crusty bread. This dish may be made ahead and reheated before serving. Freezes well. NOTE: watch the liquid balance during the final cooking stage, and ad additional broth if/as needed.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You're Most Proud Of