Mediterranean Jambalaya

Jambalaya was invented in New Orleans and is a distant cousin to paella. Because saffron was so expensive, they used added tomatoes for flavor. Cumin is added into this version to add a bit of a Mediterranean flavor. The shrimp is pan fried in butter separately to add its own distinct touch to the dish.

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3 andouille sausages, sliced 1/2” thick
3 chicken legs
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
4 cups no salt chicken broth
1 cup calrose rice
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning*
1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups (300g) 20/30 count shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and white pepper (for shrimp)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pot and add the chopped pepper, celery, scallions, and salt. Cook for 3 minutes until tender. Add the sliced sausage and cook until browned (about 10 minutes). Add the chopped tomatoes and chicken legs and cook for a few more minutes until the chicken skin starts to brown (the chicken and sausages will not be fully cooked). Add the Cajun seasoning, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne pepper and stir to coat the chicken and sausage. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour, or until the stock has been reduced by half.

Add the rice and stir it in. Continue to cook until all the stock has been absorbed. If the rice is not tender enough, add 1/4 cup water at at time until the desired consistency is reached.

In the meantime, prepare the shrimp by removing the tails and shells. Season the cleaned shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil with the butter in a pan and add the shrimp. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain any juices that are released and set cooked shrimp aside.

Top the cooked jambalaya with the cooked shrimp and the fresh parsley. Serve warm. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Note: If you don’t have store bought Cajun seasoning, it can be made by mixing 1/2 tablespoon each Kosher salt, and garlic powder, 1/4 tablespoon each ground black pepper, ground white pepper, onion powder, dried oregano, and cayenne, 1/8 tablespoon dried thyme, and 3/4 tablespoons smoked paprika.

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