join me in the kitchen

Easy Jambalaya

New Orleans has been all over the news lately and I think that’s why I have had Jambalaya on the brain.  I decided to try this recipe from the Boston Globe and it was really great!  This is an easy and tasty week night supper and it allows for modifications to suit your family.  The original recipe calls for shrimp, which I excluded because I wanted to make this dish “re-heating friendly.”  Also, instead of using diced ham, as the recipe suggests, I used sliced grilled turkey kielbasa, which my husband and I love. I used the brand of turkey kielbasa called Healthy Ones and I am so glad I did.  Regular kielbasa is delicious but has so much fat, and really, I would not have known the difference.  I will certainly use this product again.

This meal was delicious served with freshly grated cheese on top and a nice slice of crusty French bread for dipping.  There is a nice punch of flavor but it is certainly not too spicy.  (Though go ahead and add some Tabasco if that’s your style!  I did!)  I wish the photo did it justice!  I had trouble capturing the lovely colors of this dish.  For some reason they are blurred together in the picture. 

The only pieces missing from this meal were a mint julep and a beignet! 

(One other recipe note, I doubled the below recipe without a problem.)

Easy Jambalaya:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (I didn’t have any thyme so I omitted it and I didn’t notice it missing.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 14 ounces kielbasa, grilled and sliced diagonally into bite-size pieces
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1  14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled deveined (optional, I omitted it)
  •  1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Over medium heat, in a large pot (I used a Le Creuset) heat the oil and add the onion, red pepper, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir in the kielbasa, chicken broth, tomatoes, and rice, then cover the pot and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid and do not stir during this time.

If you decide to use shrimp, stir it into the rice mixture, and cook uncovered over low heat for about 5 minutes or until shrimp cooked. Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper (and Tabasco if you’re daring!).  Stir in most of the parsley (saving some for garnish).   Let it sit until the rice absorbs the liquid.  Serve in individual bowls garnished with parsley and freshly grated cheese.

Original recipe available here.

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