Friday, September 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

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Jambalaya originated as a Spanish dish and is very popular in the southern US. There are various ways of making it, but most versions include rice which is cooked in the stock, this way it absorbs all the favours.  In my version I use cauliflower instead of rice, so this isn't authentic Jambalaya, but it has most of the same flavours. I think this is a great meal to have in your freezer.  Having this cooked ahead of time means you can enjoy this spicy dish any time you want it.

The first thing you need is some seasoning.  This is the one I use.

Ragin' Cajun Famous Fixin's Cajun Seasoning (NO MSG) 16oz Canister (Pack of 3)

If you prefer to make your own reasonable facsimile, here is an easy recipe to try :

Ingredients :

-  2 1/2 tablespoons of salt
-  1 tablespoon of dried oregano
-  1 tablespoon of paprika
-  1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
-  1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

Directions :
  • Mix all the ingredients together and store in a small jar with the rest of your spice mixes until needed.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Ingredients :

-  1 lb. of spicy smoked sausage, sliced
-  1 lb. of chicken meat.  Can be breast, leg or thigh, but cut it off the bone to make it easier to eat.
-  1 large cauliflower, cut into small pieces

-  28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
-  1 chopped onion
-  1 chopped pepper (green or red)
-  1 cup of chicken stock
-  2 teaspoons of dried oregano
-  2 teaspoons of dried parsley
-  2 teaspoons of Cajun Seasoning
-  1 teaspoon of cayenne
-  1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

-  1 lb. shrimp

Directions :
  • Put the cauliflower, chicken and sausage into your slow cooker.  
  • In a large bowl mix together all the rest of the ingredients (except the shrimp). 
  • Pour this over your chicken and sausage, cover, and cook for 7 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
  • 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the shrimp.
( will freeze) If you are making this to freeze, cook without the shrimp and just stir it in before you divide it among your freezer containers.  That way, when you reheat it the shrimp will cook without becoming rubbery.

Here is an interesting tidbit.  The addition of tomatoes seems to be a New Orleans thing.  The further away from New Orleans you get, the less tomatoes are used in the local recipe.  So this recipe is closer to something you would enjoy on Bourbon St.

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1 comment:

  1. I hate cooking for myself, so I love recipes I can throw in the Crock Pot and forget for 8 hours. A coworker sent me this recipe. I tried it out and it came out really well. The flavors are excellent.
    I stepped the cayenne pepper up a LOT, and also added garlic powder, celery seed, and a few bay leaves. I didn't bother mixing up the Cajun seasoning and instead opted to just add what I thought looked right of each spice. Went light on the salt because the sausage, chicken stock, and canned tomatoes all had salt added, and it came out just about perfect.
    I also didn't bother keeping the shrimp out until 30 minutes before it was done (I'm lazy and I was asleep at the time), instead opting to just throw them in frozen from the beginning. They came out just fine and didn't come close to turning to mush.
    Lastly, even though I have a 6-quart slow cooker, there was just too much vegetable matter to fit in the crock! I guess I used too much cauliflower, because I ended up with about half of the cauliflower/onion/pepper that I couldn't fit under the lid. I highly recommend a food processor to chop the cauliflower unless you like chopping cauliflower more than I do.
    Oh, and even with only half the vegetables, I ended up with a LOT of liquid. Probably could have drained the canned tomatoes. I can't imagine leaving out the chicken stock. You could always cook it down.
    I'm eating this stuff right now and it's great. It's never gonna be jambalaya without the rice, but I'm from Louisiana and the flavors are definitely authentic. Recommended.


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