Tag Archive 'chicken'

Jun 16 2012

Jambalaya cha-cha-cha!

Published by under In The Kitchen,Recipes

Hey, we haven’t done a recipe in a long time, huh? How about a recipe? I made this for dinner last night. I’ve been really into Louisiana cooking lately, what with the red beans and rice and all that. I’ve been looking for a good gumbo recipe, but it’s hard to find one that doesn’t utilize shellfish in some form. The Man will not eat seafood, no way, no how. So, in the meantime, I went hunting for a jambalaya recipe, and wouldn’t you know? It’s pretty hard to find one of those that doesn’t contain shrimp. However, finally, I got one!

This recipe comes to us from the Food Network web site, and is credited on that site to Chef Jason Girard. I do a couple little tweaks to it, but nothing too major. Basically, my tweaks amount to adding 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and a couple of extra shakes of Tabasco to up the spice a bit, and also throwing in about 1 tsp of Old Bay, just because damn, I love Old Bay. I also omit the file powder, because it’s not an easy thing to find around here (as in, I can’t find it at the huge grocery store I shop at, and I’m not going to go looking at the few specialty stores in town because I’m lazy).  I read online that file powder can act as a thickening agent, but I don’t think a teaspoon of it would make much of a difference in a dish this large. This recipe as written on Food Network comes out soupier than I like, so I do thicken it slightly with a corn starch slurry (1 Tbsp corn starch + 1/8 cup cold water). I’m going to add these tweaks into the ingredient list and the directions, but you can feel free to delete them if you want.


  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 12 ounces smoked andouille or kielbasa sausage, sliced (I use kielbasa, because andouille is not readily available)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I use a red one, just because I like the red ones. Any color will do)
  • 1 28 ounce can peeled diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce + 2-3 extra shakes if desired (I use regular Tobasco)
  • 1 tsp. file powder (if you can find it, if not, no big whoop)
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun spice blend (sold in the spice section, pre-blended)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • corn starch slurry to thicken, if desired (1 Tbsp corn starch + 1/8 c cold water)
  • Cooked rice, for serving


Heat a heavy, dry stockpot or Dutch oven (mine is a 5 qt. size) over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp peanut oil, then brown the sausage. Remove the sausage from the pan, but leave the drippings. Add another Tbsp peanut oil, and then brown the chicken. Add more peanut oil if necessary. Remember, you’re just browning at this point.

Return the sausage to the pot with the chicken, and add the onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute until the meats and veggies are cooked through. Add the tomatoes and the hot sauce, stir to combine. Add the file powder (if using), black pepper, Old Bay, and Cajun spice, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least one hour. After 30 minutes, add corn starch slurry, if desired. Serve over rice.

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Nov 20 2008

Chicken and Rice

Published by under Recipes

This is a very traditional, easy, tasty dish that I’ve been eating since I was just a little kid.  It’s so easy and traditional that most of you are probably going “Chicken and Rice? Does anyone NOT know how to make that?”  OK, this post is not for you, then.  It’s for the poor person out there who knows diddly-poo about cooking and is desperately looking for some hard-to-ruin recipes.  Dear Desperate Person: this post is for you.

The recipe is found once again in my trusty church cookbook, and there’s not much to it.  One nice thing about this is that it is pretty easy to substitute healthier ingredients, if you’re a health-conscious kind of person.

You will need:

  • 1 package of chicken.  I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – my local grocery sells them 3-4 in a pack.  My mother and grandmother both use a selection of bone-in, skin-on pieces.  It’s a matter of personal preference.
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup.  I use the store brand.  You can sub in the low-sodium version.
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix.  Again, I use the store brand.
  • 3/4 cup dry, uncooked, long-grained white rice.

The recipe says to lightly grease a 13×9 casserole dish, but I don’t like using one that big, since I never make this using a whole chicken, which is what the recipe calls for.  Consequently, if I use a 13×9, the chicken pieces in my dish never get fully submerged and some of the outsides get dry.  I like to use one of my dutch ovens, but mine are ceramic coated.  I’m not sure how it would work in regular cast iron – I imagine it would be fine as long as the iron is seasoned properly.  A smaller casserole would work as well.

Anyway, get your vessel of choice, lightly grease it up with shortening, and arrange the chicken in it. Because I use such a (comparatively) small vessel, my chicken is all crammed together on the bottom.  This is fine – you just probably don’t want the pieces stacked on top of each other.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, two soup cans of water, the onion soup, and the rice.  Mix together.  Now, here’s another step added that my recipe book doesn’t have:  one you have all this stuff mixed, let it sit in its bowl for about 30 minutes.  I never used to do this, and my rice would end up all crunchy and not as good as I remembered.  I asked my Grandma, and she told me to let the mix sit so the rice would soak up some liquid.  I did, and the next time it was perfect!  This is also a good time to turn on your oven and preheat it to 350°F (176°C), and get your chicken out of the fridge so it can lose some of its “just out of the refrigerator” chill.

Once you’ve let your mix sit, pour it over the chicken.  Place the uncovered dish in the oven and cook for about two hours.

That’s it!  You have your main dish and a side dish all in one pan.  Serve and enjoy.  Stores very well, and the leftovers heat up nicely.

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