After planning to cook jambalaya at home for a long time, I finally cooked it, twice. I was not too happy with the jambalaya recipe in my “to-cook” list. It did not seem too authentic. So, I used a jambalaya recipe that I saw in the “Food Safari” show at SBS TV (see the link below). The “Food Safari” jambalaya recipe seems to have two typos in the rice and chicken fillet amounts, though. The amounts of rice and chicken fillet could not be 1 kg. Rather, they were supposed to be 1 lb., which is a little less than ½ kg.
I was pretty pleased having noticed the recipe’s typos. It meant that I could avoid another gumbo fiasco. I also decided to use the basmati rice that I already had rather than going out of my way to buy parboiled rice. Unfortunately, my first try was an edible but soggy, mushy flop. I added too much liquid, stirred the jambalaya too much and cooked it for too long.
Feeling disappointed that my first try was a mess I searched for online tips on cooking the perfect jambalaya and found useful tips from the food52 and bayswater websites. I felt a little more optimistic to give jambalaya another try after my mini research. I was a little nervous at first, however. I love vegetables so I used the same amount of vegetables as the recipe for 1lb. rice, while halving most things and adding frozen prawns. But this also meant that I would have excess liquid in the jambalaya.
Fortunately, the result of my second try of jambalaya looked decent and tasted delicious. It was thanks to the three tips that I followed, not washing the rice, leaving the lid on and stirring the jambalaya mixture only once or twice. The jambalaya kept well in the fridge and tasted even better the next day.
Chicken, Prawn and Sausage Jambalaya
Inspired by a recipe by Victor Kimble (http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipe/668/Jambalaya)
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oil
1 (±100g) chicken fillet, diced
250g chorizo sausages, casing removed, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large red capsicum diced
3 medium (±110g each) tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
225g (a little over 1 cup) Basmati rice, unwashed
300-350mL low salt chicken stock
A pinch of salt
Mix the herbs and spices. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep non-stick pan. Add the chicken and sausages. Stir until the chicken is slightly browned.
Add the garlic, onion, celery, capsicum and spice mix. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, rice and salt. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock. Add the prawns. Mix well.
Bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low-medium. Cover the pan with a lid. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Just before 20 minutes, stir and check if the rice is cooked or if more stock is needed. Serve warm.