I'm a working outside the home wife and mom who tends to say too much of what's on her mind. For instance, I was talking recipes with a friend and inadvertently blurted out, "Oh, mine is WAY MORE HOMEMADE than that."
The great thing about Jamalaya is that it has a few basic ingredients and the rest of it, you can just make up as you go. But here's what I do, some of the time, kind of, in a general sort of way.
Chicken for filling (click to see recipe) (chunked or shredded) 1 pound smoked sausage (or andouille or other sausage) (halved and sliced) 1 pound uncooked shrimp (thawed if frozen, peeled & deveined) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion chopped 2 celery stalks (chopped) 2 carrots (chopped) 1 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped) 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped) 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves Reserved liquid from Chicken for filling 2 cans diced tomatoes 1 small can tomato paste 2 bay leaves 4-6 cups water or chicken broth 4 cups long grain white rice - or - 3 - 3 1/2 cups brown rice Salt (to taste) 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
You will also need:
Stock pot with lid Hefty spoon
First prepare the Chicken for filling while reserving the cooking liquid (which is a beautiful deep red color) in a separate bowl and discarding the aromatic vegetables.
In the same stock pot, saute the sliced smoked sausage until it has a nice browned color on both sides. Remove from stock pot and set aside in a separate bowl.
Still in the same stock pot, heat olive oil and add onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper and cook until onions are beginning to soften. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute). Next add the reserved cooking liquid from the chicken while scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves and 4 cups of water or broth. Then add your rice (I suggest a little less brown rice as it seems to absorb more liquid and takes longer to cook than white). Bring to a boil.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 325. Once the rice is boiling and your oven is hot enough, cover and put the whole thing in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make sure that your shrimp is peeled and deveined. After the 15 minutes, add in your shrimp, sausage, chicken, and more liquid as necessary.
Here is where some options come in.
-If you are serving immediately, I'd suggest to continue to bake until the rice is fully tender, but you still want a little bit of liquid.
-If you are taking this with you somewhere like a potluck where it could potentially be in a crock pot for a while, I'd only cook until the shrimp is done then remove it from the oven (so just a few minutes). That allows the rice to continue to cook while it is in the crock pot and prolongs the time before it just becomes a sticky over-done rice mess.
Remove bay leaves and garnish with parsley before serving.