Memphis soul stew

When it comes to brainstorming blog titles, I often seek out something related to music, whether it’s a play-off a song title or a straight up rip-off. This blog title is borrowed from a King Curtis song that a foodie like me can’t help but love. But it’s not accurate seeing as though I’m blogging about a Jambalaya recipe, which is actually Louisiana Creole dish with Spanish and French influence. Perhaps this Carpenter’s song, which I’d never heard until Googling for song titles about Jambalaya, is more accurate.

Now take a hard left from all that music talk and authentic recipe mumbo jumbo and you’ll find yourself at this Chicken and Smoked Andouille Jambalaya recipe by Chow. I made this a few Sundays ago and it warmed my soul. It also made enough to feed an army, so invite guests or be ready for leftovers. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list; half of it is just seasonings.

You can mix the spice mix in advance

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch celery salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

For the jambalaya you will need:

  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium dice
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, medium dice
  • 4 ounces tasso or smoked ham, medium dice (I used smoked ham)
  • 2 large green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and medium dice
  • 3 medium celery stalks, medium dice
  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (14 ½ -ounce) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and arrange the rack to the lower third of the oven.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. I cooked the chicken in Dutch oven and then transferred it to a larger pot once I realized how much food this recipe makes. Cook about 1/3 of the chicken in the pot until browned all over, or for about five to six minutes. Set aside. Cook the remaining chicken in two batches and set aside.

Remove and discard all but about ¼ cup of the fat from the pot. This is where I switched to a larger oven-proof soup pot. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Cook the onions for about six minute or until they begin to brown.

Add the sausage and ham, half of the spice mix and stir to coat everything. Cook this mixture for about ten minutes or until the meat is browned and the onions are tender.

Add the bell peppers, celery, jalapeno, garlic, salt and the remainder of the spice mix. Cook for another ten minutes or until the bell peppers have softened.

Add the chicken and the juices that have accumulated in the bowl, the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the rice, stock and bay leaves and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover with a tightfitting lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until all the liquid has been absorbed or for about 30 minutes.

Let it cool for about five minutes, and be sure to give it a good stir before serving to combine all the flavors.

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2 responses

    • Definitely! I was moving all weekend, so yesterday was a perfect day to be stuck indoors getting settled. My roommate whipped up some homemade meatballs in the crockpot. I’m pretty excited to get back to cooking now that my kitchen is set up!

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