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Joe's Jambalaya

This is Joe Cahn's favorite recipe because you can put just about anything in it. "If it walks, crawls, swims or flies, it can be thrown into Jambalaya," says the self-anointed "Commissioner of Tailgating." "Everything goes into one pot, so cleanup is a breeze."

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds sausage cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 cups chopped onions (about 5 medium)
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 2 large)
5 cups chicken stock or water flavored with chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups long-grain rice
2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet, browning agent or roux
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
2 cups chopped green onions (about six bunches)

Season chicken with salt and pepper; brown in hot oil in 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 5 to 7 minutes. (We used mild beef sausage, but next time we will try hot sausage.) Remove chicken and sausage from pan, set aside. Add onions, celery, green peppers and garlic; cook, stirring 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to wilt. Stir in chicken stock, reserved chicken and sausage, seasoning salt and Kitchen Bouquet (we used dry roux -- see tester's note -- or Cahn says you can thicken with cornstarch). Bring to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 10 minutes; remove cover and quickly turn rice from top to bottom completely. Replace cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in green onions.

For brown jambalaya, add 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar to hot oil and caramelize, or make a roux, or use Kitchen Bouquet. For red jambalaya, add approximately 1/4 cup paprika or use half stock and half tomato juice or V8 for your liquid.

If using an electric stove, reduce cooking time by 3 to 4 minutes.

Tester's note: We used 4 tablespoons of a dry roux. Here's how to make it: Place dry flour in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet and brown it over low to medium heat, stirring to avoid burning the flour.

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Joe Cahn via USA Rice Federation

Thursday, January 31, 2002

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