It is said that the roots of Jambalaya spring from a combination of cultures, as do so many dishes from this region. The theory is that the word is formed from the French jambon which means ham, ya which is African for rice and from the Acadian language; the commonly used term a la. There are as many recipes as there are chefs in this culinary mecca, but I have found this combination to be simple and delicious.

(Serves 4-6)

2-3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped celery or celery root
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped pasilla chiles or green pepper
3 tablespoons Creole seasoning (see below)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound thickly sliced Andouille or other smoked sausage
1 1/2 cups uncooked white basmati rice or other long grained white rice
1 small can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes, with their juice
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup vegetable blend juice
Hot sauce to taste (the more the better!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a heavy oven-proof pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the celery, red peppers, chiles and seasoning. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the vegetables begin to brown. Add the chicken and sausage and cook until the chicken lightly browns. (It doesn't have to be done all the way through. That will happen in the oven.)

Add the rice and stir to heat through. Pour in the chicken broth, tomatoes, the vegetable blend juice and the hot sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, taste the stock for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve drizzled with Creole Sauce if desired.

Creole Seasoning:
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon Spike Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Combine and store in an airtight container.

Creole Sauce:
1 cup Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic Tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning (or to taste)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer to a small sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe developed by Lynne Vea

PCC Natural Markets

Read or Share this story: