Introduction: Hearty Jambalaya

Better than chicken soup when you're run-down, more savoury than beef stew and hotter than chili! Such a powerhouse of flavour and nutrition can only be Jambalaya. This is comfort food that can't be beat!

I'm making Creole Jambalaya in this instructable, for Cajun-style omit the tomato paste (and any actual tomatoes, which I've already omitted.)

You Will Need:
1-2 Chicken breasts
2-3 Sausages (Andouille or any other dry, smoked pork sausage)
1/8 cup Cajun Seasoning
1 tbsp fresh minced Garlic
2/3 cup diced Onion
1/2 cup chopped Celery
1/2 cup diced Bell Peppers (Green is typical, Purple is awesome, other shades work in a pinch)
4-5 cups Chicken Stock
3 tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4-1/2 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, Minced Hot Peppers, etc
1/2 cup Long Grain Brown Rice
1 cup water

Step 1: Prep

Slice and dice your holy trinity of veggies, mince the garlic and set aside.

Slice your chicken breast(s) into small strips and rub with Cajun spices. If your sausage is unseasoned, rub it as well and fry them and the chicken pieces on low in a small amount of olive oil.

Step 2: Simmer and Serve

Combine the chicken stock and tomato paste, whisking together. Let the rice cook for a few minutes first (optional: add a cup of water to the broth. Also optional: pre-cook the rice to reduce cooking time if you're in a hurry.)

Next add the meat, garlic, hot sauce and any leftover spice. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Finish with the fresh veggies, saving them for last so that they don't become over-cooked.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until it thickens (it won't reach stew consistency, but the broth should be more substantial than some thinner soups.) Once the rice is cooked and all the flavours have thoroughly mingled, the jambalaya is ready. This should take between 20 and 40 minutes.

Note: I prep my jambalaya a little differently than what's traditional. I prefer to cook my meat separately first because I like it well done and I reserve the veggies until last because I like them to retain a little crunch. If you're looking for authenticity; mix the meat and veggies, boil, add broth and rice, then simmer for an hour or two (or at least until the rice is done.)

You can serve with sweet tea and cornbread, or soda crackers and gingerale - it goes great with everything. Enjoy!

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