I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans. I’m intrigued by the cuisine, and a little afraid of it.
At the aromatic root of savory Cajun and Creole cooking is the holy trinity: a sauté of chopped onion, celery, and green pepper. You can find the trinity in gumbo, maque choux, étouffée, dirty rice, jambalaya, and I totally forgot what I was talking about.
But I’m on the holy trinity do-not-call list because I’m allergic to bell peppers.
Since I’m pretty sure omitting the green peppers from jambalaya will get me kicked out of the foodies club anyway, I decided to further bastardize the original recipe and make it a tad bit healthier. In the interest of my cholesterol level (and throwing convention and authenticity out the window), I used turkey kielbasa in place of the pork sausage.
And did I miss the green peppers? Um, no. Why would I miss food that makes me feel like crap? The turkey kielbasa was just as juicy and lush as smoked sausage should be. Really, it was a delicious dish – rich and flavorful, filling, and just spicy enough without blowing your head off.
I took it for lunch for a week and it reheated just right in the microwave. There was some serious lunch envy in the cafeteria that week.
Continue reading for the Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya recipe
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 ounces smoked turkey sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 2½ cups skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2¾ cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups medium-grain white rice
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and bay leaves; cook until vegetables are golden brown, about 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage; cook until sizzling quiets (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomato sauce; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Stir in green onions.