One of my absolute favorite regions to cook from is the South. There’s a hugely rich history of cuisines in the South, Creole, Cajun, all sorts of forms of Barbecue, baking. You name it there’s a unique, interesting recipe that’s come out of the South.
A good friend of mine lent me a cook book of great recipes called the Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook. I quickly fell in love with it because it’s a highly researched and curated collection of authentic southern recipes that accurately represent what real southern cooks actually make. This means they use cheap, easy to find, or commonly available (for the South) stuff. Lots of canned products, lots of stuff that grows wild, and even wild game if you’re really adventurous. It’s an excellent book and I can’t recommend it enough for the stories alone.
So with that, one of the southern recipes I’ve always struggled with is jambalaya. I’ve tried all sorts of variations and recipes from some of my favorite sources with no luck on this one. They either over complicate what should be a simple recipe. Or they don’t use the simpler ingredients well enough to really bring out the flavor. This recipe seemed different when I looked at it. So I tried it out once for myself and absolutely loved it.
This was encouraging. So I went to my parents for a visit a while ago and tried making it for them too. I was pleased to say that it got my Dad to break his usually ironclad “I don’t eat leftovers more than once” rule. That’s a real recommendation for sure. All it really needs is some salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
You really should pick up a copy of this cookbook, it’s excellent and has this and many more fantastic recipes, I haven’t found a bad one yet. Find it here.
1 pound smoked pork sausage, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 pound large shrimp, tail on
1 pound boneless chicken thighs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 1/2 cups white rice, uncooked
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce, divided
1 10-ounce can diced tomato and green chilies, such as RO*Tel
1 10.5 ounce can beef broth
1 10.5 ounce can condensed French onion soup
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 stick butter
4 green onions, chopped
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown the sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
3. In a bit of butter, cook shrimp until just pink, then transfer to the bowl.
4. Brown the chicken. Return the sausage and shrimp to the pot.
5. Stir in the rice, 2 cans of the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and green chilies, beef broth, onion soup, bell pepper, mushrooms, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a simmer, stirring until butter melts.
6. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, stir together the green onions, parsley, Creole seasoning, lemon pepper the remaining can of tomato sauce, a water in a bowl.
8. Season with Tabasco sauce.
9. Stir into the rice mixture after 45 minutes and then continue to bake until rice is tender and has absorb the liquid, about another 30 minutes.
10. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.