Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birthday Jambalaya

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My husband's favorite meal is jambalaya.  Since it contains almost every type meat known to man, I don't make it often.  We save it as a special dish he gets to have once a year on his birthday and we've been doing that for 4 years now.  It's something to look forward to and it makes so much that he gets to enjoy it for lunch at least 3-4 more days throughout the week!

I've tweaked the recipe over the years and have really made it my own.  Other than prep time it really doesn't take long to make, it's a simple one pot dish with a ton of flavor.  His birthday was last week and we've been looking forward to this recipe since Christmastime.  Oh and Yuengling lager beer was a perfect accompanying drink!

Aaron's Jambalaya


6 slices of bacon (cut to about 1 inch pieces – use kitchen shears, makes it really easy!)
3 large celery stalks (diced)
1 green pepper (diced)

1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
1 large onion (chopped)

1/2 lb. cubed cooked ham
1/2 lb. cubed cooked chicken thighs
1 lb. smoked sausage (sliced into ½” rounds)
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 heaping tsp. Cajun seasoning blend
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili powder
2 cups uncooked white rice (long grain)
12 oz shrimp (I used pre-cooked frozen that I've thawed in cold water)


Heat a large dutch-oven style pot over medium-high heat and add the bacon - cook until crisp, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Add the celery, green pepper, jalapeno and onion to the bacon drippings and cook until tender (about 5-8 minutes).  Season with a sprinkle of salt & pepper.

Add the chicken, ham and sausage to the pot. Then pour in the tomatoes, beef and chicken stock. Stir to combine well and add in the thyme, paprika, chili powder and Cajun seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the rice, then turn it to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Be sure to stir it occasionally (especially at the beginning!) to keep the rice from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the shrimp and bacon just before serving and heat through. If you use raw shrimp just let them cook for about 5 minutes in the jambalaya before serving.  Taste to check the seasonings and add more if needed, then serve.


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