There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Jambalaya is a robust rice dish that evolved as Acadian settlers used the available Louisiana ingredients and the influence of native tribes and African slaves in a "make do" kind of way. You may want to prepare the Louisiana seasoning, rice, and sauce a day in advance. Serves eight. Add this to my Recipe Box.
- 2 medium onions - chopped
- 3 2/3 c. white rice (2 lb. bag)
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4-5 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Rendered fat from 3-4 strips of hickory-smoked bacon (for sauce)
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 5 stalks celery - chopped
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black peppers
- 1 bunch of parsleys - chopped, for garnish
- 5 tbsp. garlic powders
- 2 green bell peppers - chopped
- 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. fresh large shrimp
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 lb. unsalted butters
- 1/4 c. paprika
- 4 green onions - chopped
- 1 lb. fresh scallops
- 3/4 c. fish stocks
- 4 c. chicken stocks
- 2 oz. smoked tasso hams - diced
- 3-4 Cajun andouille sausages - chopped medium
- 6 scotch bonnet peppers (for garnish)
- 1 tsp. kosher salts
- 5 1/2 oz. can tomato sauces
- 2 tbsp. onion powder
- 1/4 c. cayenne pepper
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Preparing the Seasoning, Rice and Sauce
To make Louisiana seasoning, mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme and 1 tsp. salt.
Rinse rice under cool water until water runs clear to remove excess starch and prevent sticking.
Combine rice with 4 tbsps. butter, the chicken stock and 2 tsps. salt. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all liquid. Reserve.
Melt 1 oz. bacon fat in a large, heavy pan.
Sauté the tasso ham, andouille sausages, onions, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic until ham and sausage are crisp and vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).
Add 2 1/2 tbsp. Louisiana seasoning, the canned diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce and 1 bay leaf.
Cook 15 minutes.
Add green onions and seafood stock to the sauce. Taste for seasoning; add salt if necessary.
Cook, partially covered, 45 minutes over low heat.
Shell and devein shrimp.
Heat the remaining butter in large, heavy pan or skillet over medium heat.
Season chicken chunks with 2 to 3 tsp. Louisiana seasoning.
Sauté chicken for about five minutes, or until it is almost done.
Season the scallops and shrimp with another 2 to 3 tsp. Louisiana seasoning and add to pan.
Sauté until shrimp is pink and chicken is tender, about 2 minutes.
Add jambalaya sauce and more Louisiana seasoning to taste, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing).
Mix in the cooked rice and cook over medium heat. Jambalaya is ready when it moves in the pan.
Garnish with chopped parsley and scotch bonnet peppers.
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