Jumbo-laya (a combination of Creole and Cajun Jambalaya)
While I consider myself a jambalaya purist, I was lured into this recipe through ideas from my dad and from Frank Davis. This is a hybrid of a Cajun and Creole jambalaya and packs a ton of flavor, so I’ve named it Jumbo-Laya. The key to this recipe is beginning with a heavy cast iron pot and frying the bacon, then cooking the additional ingredients in the rendered bacon grease. The addition of the Rotel tomatoes (not present in any true Cajun recipe) adds a zip from the chile peppers. I usually do my best to stick with a simple jambalaya, but I bet even the traditionalists couldn’t resist this recipe.
Feeds 4-6 as a meal or 10-12 as a party dish.
- 1 pound smoked SAUSAGE, cut into cubes
- 1 pound boneless, skinless CHICKEN THIGHS
- 3 cups white RICE
- 2 slices BACON, chopped
- 2 medium yellow ONIONS, diced
- ½ green BELL PEPPER, diced
- 3 stalks CELERY, diced
- 4 green ONIONS, chopped
- 4 cloves GARLIC, minced
- 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel TOMATOES and chiles, drained
- 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 teaspoon each of SALT, BLACK PEPPER, CAYENNE, OREGANO and THYME
- 4 ½ cups CHICKEN STOCK (if homemade isn’t available, use Kitchen Basics)
- Cast iron DUTCH OVEN
1. Heat a large (5 ¼ quart or larger) cast iron Dutch oven and fry the bacon pieces to render the grease, remove and drain on paper towels.
2. Brown the chicken in the bacon grease, remove and when cool, cut into strips.
3. Brown the sausage for several minutes, then add the trinity of onion, celery and green pepper and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 or 15 minutes on low heat.
4. Add bacon, chicken, minced garlic, Rotel Tomatoes, Kitchen Bouquet, seasonings and rice, then stir all together.
5. After rice is coated and mixed well, add the chicken stock. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer (low) and cover. Set a kitchen timer and do not touch the lid for 20 minutes! You will need to cook until the rice is soft and all liquid is absorbed.1.
6. Lift the lid and confirm that rice is almost completely cooked and all liquid has been absorbed, then add the chopped green onion. Fold in the onions to the mixture, turn off the burner and replace the lid and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
courtesy of Kevin and Ken Lacassin
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