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Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence, thus says Wikipedia. I’ll add that it is a one-pot rice dish, similar to jollof rice. It differs however in the method of preparation, and in the spices used. Authentic jambalaya uses the Cajun and Creole trinity of diced green bell peppers, onions, and celery in roughly equal quantities as its base, and can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. 

The first few times I made it, I used this recipe. It had a lot of ingredients, and was very  involved and time-consuming, but well worth the effort.  Here is a quicker, fairly simple version I made recently by adapting a bbcgoodfood.com recipe.

I tweaked it a bit, I’ll tell you how. To get a full list of ingredients though, you’ll have to go read on there. Cajun seasoning is vital to this dish. You can either buy this ready made from the shops, or you can make yours. I made a big batch at Christmas, and stored it in a takeaway pack in a ziplock bag.  You can find the recipe here. I added extra cayenne pepper as I like my food hot and spicy.

I had made some roast chicken drumsticks with carrots the previous day, so had some chicken left over.

Chicken and carrots

Chicken and carrots

I shredded this roughly, leaving the bones in for extra flavour. 

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I diced some onions and some red peppers.

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I had half a chorizo sausage left over from Christmas, so skinned and diced that too. From my freezer I got frozen shrimp stock, and frozen chopped celery.

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I lightly fried the onions,  cube of garlic (minced and frozen in ice cube trays) and celery for a few minutes, and then added the peppers and the chorizo as well as 2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning. I cooked this for about 5 minutes more, then added the rice and chicken, and stirred for a couple of minutes. I then emptied in two cans of chopped tomatoes, the shrimp stock, and a couple of chicken seasoning stock cubes, and enough water to cook the rice. I brought it to the boil, adjusted for salt, and then turned it right down , and left it.

It took about 30 minutes or so to cook, during which I stirred it a couple of times to ensure an even distribution of ingredients and to avoid burning at the bottom. I don’t like crunchy rice, so I cooked till done. And voilà.

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My crew liked it, it was relatively fuss-free, and took less than an hour. Thanks for stopping by :)

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