Pappy’s Jambalaya

So, just curious, is there anyone out there who can just say the word “jambalaya” like a regular word? Or are you like me and can’t say it without a kind of accent…”jam-ba-LAY-a”

However you say it, it’s soooo good and soooo comforting. This was one of Pappy’s favorites.It’s also very versatile, meaning, and I know y’all are gonna tired o’ hear me sayin’ it, but you can “use what you got” and it’ll come out good every time. Today, for instance I had some chicken legs, (well, they came with the rest of the chicken, but nobody here eats just the legs, at least without knowing it!), and so I used that for the chicken in my jambalaya this time. But you can use whatever part of the chicken you like best. Just a caution, if you use boneless, it won’t have as much flavor. “Da flavor is in da bones!”

Also, this recipe doesn’t have a whole lotta kick to it. Some members of my family just can’t take the heat….Okay, it’s me, but you can adjust how spicy it is by just adding more of the cayenne pepper, or some chili flakes, or what you got.

So here we go with Pappy’s Jambalaya, and don’t burn the roof off your mouth!

Pappy’s Jambalaya

5-6 pieces of bone-in chicken (dark meat is best)
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced (can also use kielbasa)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, I used red, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced or chopped. I left this out this time, cuz I didn’t got!
2 cans (14.5 ozs. each) diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with garlic, by Hunt’s)
1 teaspoon creole seasoning, if you don’t got, don’t worry. Use a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper,
1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dry chicken bouillon

Long grain white rice, cooked, for serving on the side

Start with a heated pot, add about a Tablespoon of oil, add chicken pieces, with the skin side down, if your chicken has skin. We’re just going to brown it a little, turning once. After about 10 minutes, add onion, bell pepper and celery, if using, and give it a good stir. We just want to let that cook for about 5 minutes. Add spices , stir and cook for a couple of minutes, then add tomatoes, juice and all. Now don’t throw that can away yet, you need to fill it up with water and pour it in the pot too.

Add bay leaf and bring this all to a boil, don’t wory, I haven’t forgotten the sausage.

Turn heat down to low and just let it cook slowly for about an hour.

Now you can take out the chicken, it should be fallin’ off the bone by now. Pull the meat off the bones and add back into the pot, discard bones and skin.

Now that can just simmer while you’re cooking the sliced sausage: you just want to saute that on low in a separate pan, til its brown, then add to the pot. And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget to take out the bay leaf!

Now start cooking your rice and the jambalaya can wait its turn on simmer.

You can serve the jambalaya over the rice or the rice over the jambalaya. Which ever way you do it, it’s gonna be good and it’s all gonna end up all in the same place!

So enjoy and if that don’t take the squeak outta your screen door, nothin’ will! (Not Pappy, that was Johnny Depp in Chocolat!)

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