Friday, March 25, 2011

The Chief of Jambalaya

Jambalaya like this recipe courtesy of the Randolphs shows up at our church and Sunday School gatherings. It is easy to prepare and serve and is a sort of fish and loaves meal that will feed however many come through the door. Several years ago Spike and I were at one of these gatherings during a missions conference where church members share a meal with a visiting missionary in order to become familiar with him and his work. This particular visit stretched us a bit more as the missionary could not tell us his name or the location of his work due to the sensitivity and security issues involved. This happens relatively often so we were not undone at all. He told us a bit about his secular occupation in this distant land but couldn't really say much due to the sensitivity and security issues involved. So maybe you can imagine our surprise of sorts when he suddenly asked, "Would you like to consider sending some of your high school students to work with me for a summer?" Huh? Our ever gracious hostess replied, "Let me get this straight. We don't know your name or who you are, we don't know where you serve, we don't know what you do or how you do it and yet you would like us to send our children to you? Can you understand our hesitancy?" (Due to the sensitivity and security issues involved.) It seemed as if our concerns were just as confusing to him as his suggestion was to us. Maybe we should call this jambalaya "Mission Impossible." Here's how to make it:

One onion, one green bell pepper and one cup of celery, all chopped along with 2-3 cloves of garlic minced. Cook that in a large, large skillet with a little olive oil until soft.

Add two cans of seasoned tomatoes, undrained, one box (minus one cup) of chicken broth, 1 1/3 cups of brown rice, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 T. Tabasco, and two bay leaves.

Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 50-60 minutes until the rice is done.

While that combo is simmering and filling your house with the most delightful aroma you can prepare the chicken, sausage, and shrimp. If the shrimp man is nowhere to be seen I use a bag of frozen, extra large, already cooked shrimp that I buy at that not to be named national retail powerhouse.

The recipe calls for three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a package of Cajun smoked sausage. Clean the chicken, season with some Tony's and place that and the sausage on the grill.
This is where is starts to get "quitchie." (I'll tell you about that word some time.) You know I have this thing about meat. Sausage is even worse. I have been forever scarred by my Brownie Scout field trip to the Usinger Meat and Sausage Company when I was seven years old. Never ever under any circumstances take a bunch of impressionable, innocent, purer than the driven snow, darlin' little girls to a sausage factory where the workers, all hidden behind face masks to protect their identity and possible prosecution by tormented former visitors, pour buckets of unidentifiable ingredients into large vats, stir it around and then run it into casings made of some kind of I don't want to know what that is material. After reviving several of us who had never before witnessed such an operation we were whisked off to the park for a cook-out. Really. Our fearless leaders cooked those tubed atrocities over an open flame and fully expected that a weak-kneed and even weaker stomach kinda girl like me would willingly bite, chew and swallow. And that my friends is why I don't do sausage. Except in jambalaya.

We were grilling the chicken and sausage which I have chosen to do during a tornado warning. Whether or not I live to serve this meal takes my mind off of the sausage part.
Thaw the shrimp, remove the tails, and remove as much water as possible on paper towel. Once the rice is nice and cooked add the sliced sausage, bite sized pieces of chicken and the shrimp. Add some of the reserved chicken broth if need be. Do a little taste test and season with Tony's or Old Bay seasoning. Tossed salad, garlic or French bread and you're ready. Or should we say, "Mission Accomplished."


  1. I LOVE jambalaya and was already thinking about making it for company Monday night...and then I read this post and will definitely make it. :)

  2. Holy moly! This looks delicious. I've never been brave enough to try to cook jambalaya, but man, this looks easy and so good!

  3. Hey KB! Hope this recipe turns out well for you Monday night. Thus far it has been a success every time at our house.
    And MS Mama....I'm thinking the only time I get to see you is at Wed. night supper and we won't be able to be there again this week. I'm dying to talk about that book with you.