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Ms. Kitty’s Jambalaya

08 Mar

♪♫ Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou ♪♫ ♪♫

My first introduction to New Orlean’s style food was via a former long-time boyfriend who was born and raised there. He was also responsible for my Southern-style nickname, Ms. Kitty. His mother and I shared the same first name so I was gifted her nickname as well. This recipe was given to me by the original Ms. Kitty on my first trip to New Orleans over 20 years ago. I recall copying the recipe out of some (then) ancient cookbook that is probably no longer even in print.

There are two primary ways to make jambalaya; Creole (or red) style which includes tomatoes or Cajun style which does not. Like most jambalaya Cajun recipes, this starts out with the “holy trinity” of onions, celery and bell pepper sauteed in a stock pot. Chicken, sausage and/or seafood are then added followed by the tomatoes. The last step is adding rice and stock. All of this cooks down in one pot for an easy to prepare but hearty and delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 9 (boneless, skinless) chicken thighs
  • 2 tlbs olive oil
  • 3 medium onions
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can crushed tomatos
  • 1 pound smoked sausage or Polish sausage*
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Parsley flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tlbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Directions:

Boil chicken until tender. Reserve liquid. Meanwhile chop all the vegetables. Saute chopped vegetables and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add meat, tomatoes and paste. Add seasonings and cook 30-45 minutes on low heat, stirring often. Add 2 to 2 ½ cups reserved liquid and uncooked rice. Cook covered approximately 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.

*Use andouille sausage if you can find it. It’s pricey in Arizona and Polish sausage works just fine.

Serves six

Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate:

Calories 475.0 Total Fat 25.1g  Cholesterol 138.2mg  Sodium 1,503.4mg  Potassium 1,086.3mg  Total Carbohydrate 28.6g  Protein 34.8g

Inspiration: Katherine Simmons, RIP

Photo credit: Kthread on Flickr. CC Licensed. A much better picture than I could ever take!

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