Creole Jambalaya

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3-pound chicken fryer, cut into 8ths, rinsed, dried
4 cups onions, 1/2 inch dice
2/3 cup green bell pepper 1/2 inch dice
3/4 cup green onion tops, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
3/4 cup baked ham, 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 cups lean pork, in 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups smoked sausages (Polish, French, garlic), 1/2 inch slices
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 bay leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon thyme (dried)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon basil (dried)
1/8 teaspoon mace
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Brown the chicken, then remove.
  3. Add the vegetables, parsley, ham, and pork. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until everything is brown.
  4. Add the sausages and seasonings; continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well.
  5. Add the rice and increase the heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until the rice is lightly browned, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom.
  6. Return the chicken to the pot; add the stock. Mix well; bring to a boil.
  7. Cover the pot and turn down to a simmer, or place in 350F oven. Cook 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Uncover the pot and cook 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium to allow the rice to dry out, stirring very frequently. Remove bay leaf and serve immediately.

Chef riot of color, rice has golden cast and pepper confetti on top is nice. This has a good moisture which also holds the heat in better.

Personal/Team: I think shredding the chicken instead of serving on the bone is more traditional and makes it easier to eat. I didn't think it needed the ham or lean pork, there is enough flavor from the sausage and chicken.  I did like the moisture and texture of the jambalaya and it had excellent flavor.

Lessons Learned: if chicken and vegetables don't brown correctly, it will affect the flavor profile and appearance of the dish. It is also important to slowly render the fat from the sausage to help seal the flavors more.