Cooking Instructor Bonnie Ward Strauss shares her Lighter Chicken Jambalaya recipe. For more information on Bonnie, CLICK HERE.
LIGHTER CHICKEN JAMBALAYA:
Seasoning mix – Combine in small bowl and set aside
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. rubbed sage
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- Optional ½ lb. (approx. 2 cups) diced Tasso (or other quality smoked ham)
- ¾ lb. (about 2 cups) organic boneless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup chopped onions, in all
- 1 cup chopped celery, in all
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers, in all
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup canned low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 ½ cups organic low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 ½ cup uncooked rice (preferably “converted” rice)
- Melt oil or butter in a 2-qt. sauce pan over high heat. Add the Tasso (if using) and cook about 3 minutes or until meat begins to brown. Stir often, scraping bottom well as not to scorch.
- Add chicken and cook about 3-5 minutes on medium heat or until chicken is brown. Stir often scraping pan bottom well.
- Stir in seasoning mix (do not inhale!) and the garlic, ½ cup each of the trinity (onions, celery, green bell peppers).
- Cook over medium heat about 5-8 minutes or until vegetables become tender. Stir frequently and scrape bottom of pan.
- Stir in tomato sauce and cook approximately 1 minute, constantly stirring.
- Stir in the tomatoes and the remaining trinity vegetables (onions, celery, green bell peppers).
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in stock and rice. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into an ungreased 8 X 8-inch baking dish.
- Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven until rice is tender but still a bit al dente (about 1 hour).
- Remove from oven. Stir well and remove Bay leaves. Top with chopped scallions and Italian parsley for color. Rest 5 minutes before serving.
This recipe is naturally gluten free!
If you like a meatier dish with more smoky flavor, ¾ lb. sliced Andouille or kielbasa sausage can be added along with the chicken.
To create a vegetarian version:
Use no meat and substitute vegetable broth (or stock) for the chicken stock. Sauté 1 tsp. of smoky paprika in fat just before adding the seasoning mix.