Pile ’em high, that’s my motto
Jambalaya is probably the first dish I ever learnt to cook, Just before I went to University I decided it would probably be a good idea to know how to cook at least one big meal before I went. I rifled through the usual student cookbooks and the only thing I stumbled across that piqued my interest was jambalaya. I don’t know if it was the song or… Either way, I cooked it,it was nice, I made it again. When I was sharing a house it became the most regularly requested meal. I’ve changed it over the years, added bits and pieces, but this recipe is the way I usually do it. It makes enough for 4-6 people. I don’t make it with shrimp, as is perhaps traditional, as everyone in my family is allergic.
- 75g long grain white rice per person (300-450 in total)
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 3 diced chicken breasts/1 pack of diced chicken breasts
- 1 chorizo sausage, deskinned and cut into 1cm chunks
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 courgettes, chopped
- 2 bell peppers (anything but green), chopped
- 7 or 8 medium mushrooms, sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Possible extras: 1 medium chilli, deseeded and sliced thin; chilli flakes; dried oregano
- Can also be made with pork instead of chicken
- Get a large deep frying pan over a medium heat, and another regular frying pan over a medium heat too. Heat up the oil, and in the smaller frying pan add the chicken. When the chicken has whitened, add the onion, peppers and courgettes to the larger pan (and chilli if you use it). After the chicken has started turning brown, and the veg is softening, add the chicken to the larger pan, then add the chorizo.
- Add the rice to the pan, and fry for about a minute before adding the tins of tomatoes and the stock. Bring up to a boil, then put on a lid and let simmer for 7 or 8 minutes.
- By then there should still be quite a bit of liquid. Add the mushrooms and the paprika, and stir everything in. Put the lid back on and check it every few minutes, stirring it so it won’t stick. Eventually the whole thing will just sort of firmed up, the rice will be cooked, and there won’t be any juice floating around the bottom. Not the most technical language, but it basically describes it.
- Season to taste, and that should be it!
At the end, it should look a bit like this: