Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

When Justin and I got married, we had a small, intimate ceremony and reception with our families and close friends. We didn't have a lot of money to spend, but we still wanted it to reflect who we are and the things we love. One way we did that was through food. We went with a New Orleans-inspired menu, and my grandparents and my Aunt Jean cooked it for us (with a couple contributions from me and from Justin's mom). We had a hard time deciding on the menu because there are just so many great Cajun dishes that we love, but we wanted to choose things that would appeal not only to my Louisiana family but also to Justin's Indiana family. Something that we thought would bridge that gap well was jambalaya. It's chicken, smoked sausage, and rice with some seasoning--what's not to like?

The jambalaya was probably the biggest hit of the reception, though I'm quite partial to my Aunt Jean's crab dip, a recipe which I'll have to post sometime soon. The recipe is one that some of my family members used in their restaurant. It makes a great fix-it-and-forget-it dinner. You can make it one of two ways--toss everything in a pot and cook until the rice is done or toss everything in a roasting pan and put it in the oven until it's done. It's super easy and wonderfully flavorful.

And don't be nervous; it's not spicy! So many people think that Cajun = spicy, but that's just not true. Sure, many Cajun people like spicy food, but the dishes themselves are usually mild but well-seasoned. Then you just pile on the Tabasco to make it as hot as you want. If you don't believe me, just check out the ingredients list below--there's nothing in there to make this dish spicy, especially if you go with the mild Ro*Tel.

Random side note: I just realized that 7 of the last 9 recipes have started with the letter C. I never realized till now just how many awesome foods start with that letter--chocolate, cheese, chicken, champagne, cherries, chocolate, cake, coke, chocolate, crawfish, crepes, chocolate, cookies, chocolate... You get the point.


2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 lb smoked sausage
8 oz can tomato sauce
10 oz can Ro*Tel tomatoes and green chilies
14.5 oz can beef broth
10.5 oz can condensed French onion soup
2 c parboiled/converted rice (Uncle Ben's suggested)
1 onion, diced
1 c celery, chopped
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c butter, cubed

Oven Directions

Place all ingredients in a large roaster pan with a lid or glass casserole dish (covered with aluminum foil) and stir well. Bake at 350 F for 75 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stovetop Directions

Place all ingredients in a large pot with a lid and stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When rice is almost done, remove lid, and allow to cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is completely done.

Servings: 6

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