Sunday, February 15, 2009

63. Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Date Cooked: January 28, 2009
Page: 223
Rating: B+

This is a recipe I had been eyeing since the time I made Gumbo. It was a recipe with a lot of ingredients and a few techniques for cooking that intimidated me a bit. The biggest technique was simply frying chicken until the skin is crispy (see the Chicken Cacciatore post). Since I had accomplished this and had the proper vessel for cooking this recipe (my dutch oven) I figured it was a good time to tackle Jambalya.

Over the weekend I had picked up some more Andouille sausage while at the St. Lawrence Market searching for a leg of lamb roast. So I had everything I needed to make this dish. The first step in making this dish was to finely chop the garlic, red pepper, onion and celery by whizzing them around the food processor. I don’t know if I was really happy with this result. The pieces were either mush or really large, most likely due to my food processor.

The next step was to cook the chicken in some oil until golden brown and the skin is crispy. Once that was done the sausage gets its turn to brown before being removed to make room for the vegetables. The vegetables get soften before the rest of the ingredients, rice, tomatoes, thyme, cayenne, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, and the browned sausage, get added. The chicken gets skinned (and you can guess where those skins ended up) before being placed on top of the mixture and everything brought to a boil and then simmered.

Everything cooked with minimal stirring for about 25 minutes, until the chicken was done. The chicken was removed and shredded while shrimp was added to the dutch oven to cook. Let’s take a moment to discuss shrimp. I need to buy raw shrimp with shells on these days because my oldest loves to help peel them. He calls himself my sous-chef and dives right into the bowl of shrimp to peel them. He gets mad if I don’t let him peel the last shrimp.

When the shrimp have finished cooking the shredded chicken gets added and the dish is ready to serve.

Rating: B+. This was a very flavorful dish and I enjoyed it quite a lot. My only complaint is that the rice turned out a little mushy. Not really bad but there was probably a little too much liquid in the dish. Next time I prepare this (there will be a next time), I will try to reduce the amount of liquid or watch the overall cooking time better.

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