Something my readers may have gathered over the life of my blog is that I enjoy a good pot of anything that can be served over fresh steamed rice and absolutely anything that can be made in just one pot.
My husband has recently helped me clean out my spice rack and cabinet, discarding old, discolored spices and emptying out containers of spices that I really don’t have a use for so that we can fill them with the spice blends I have created or come across and use plenty of. Also a part of that process was mixing up more of the blends that we were running low on and use pretty much on a daily basis – among those was my bottle of Creole spice mix. I use it on everything! It is my go-to spice for oven baked french fries, a quick rub for a baked chicken breast on a lazy dinner evening – or when we are just tapped for dinner ideas, a little dash of it can be found going into pasta sauces and all sorts of other dishes but the one thing I hadn’t actually used it for or made in over two years was a pot of jambalaya!
What kind of cook was I to love Emeril Lagasse’s recipes and use his recipe for Creole seasoning but not actually make a pot of jambalaya? This was an oversight I intended to repair immediately. This day, Mei was happy to nap for a long time, after an extended afternoon playing at the soft-play center in the next village over and sharing a strawberries and cream frappucino with her mama, so dinner came together rather quickly after some prep while listening to some soul-lifting blues by the one and only, B.B. King!
The best thing about this is that all the ingredients wind up in the same pot and once you have everything sliced and diced, the work is nearly done – then impatience settles in as you wait for your pot to finish simmering all the ingredients together into a harmoniously, delicious dish! I did cut back on the heat, to the bare minimum since I knew that Mei would be sharing this meal with us and still, once it was done, there was quite a bit of heat left in your mouth so I put a splash of white vinegar and a little sprinkle of sugar over Mei’s portion and it brought down the heat enough that she could manage without grabbing her tongue and crying through dinner.
The second best thing about this meal is that you can sneak all sorts of veggies into it, if you have picky eaters at your house and incorporate any other ingredients that you like but aren’t listed. You simply can’t go wrong! The only thing that would have made this better would have been a few links of andouille sausage, which is basically impossible to come across in Europe. If I had had the time to get some chorizo, I would have done that, but with Mei’s palate still developing and tender, we went with a mild Italian sausage and it was still as delicious as ever!
One recipe makes plenty enough for three people to eat a few servings of and Tupperware enough for leftovers to take to work for the rest of the week! We were all happy to indulge the rest of the week in this meal and look forward to the next time we would make this dish (and it will probably be on a cold winter day, since the heat from the dish coupled with the heat of the evening was enough to get all of us into baths and showers before bed!).
Ingredients: adapted from Emeril Lagasse
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1 lb medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined
- creole seasoning
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 1-1/2 lb andouille sausage or other sausage, 1/2 in cubes or slices
- 2 C chopped onions
- 1 C chopped celery
- 1 C chopped bell pepper
- 2 TBS minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1-1/2 TBS thyme (fresh or dried)
- 1 C chopped tomatoes
- 4 C chicken stock
- 2 C water
- 2 C rice
- 1 C chopped green onions
- 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
In a large dutch oven, heat 2 TBS of olive oil over medium heat. Rub the shrimp and chicken with creole seasoning then saute until almost cooked through, about four minutes – cooking the shrimp first, then the chicken. Remove and set aside.
Brown the sausage then add the celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, cayenne & thyme and cook until wilted and sweating, about six minutes.
Add the tomatoes, water and stock then return the chicken to the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the rice to the pot, stirring well to combine, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
Then add the shrimp, green onions & parsley, stirring to combine and cook for another ten minutes or until the shrimp has heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes before serving.