Classic Cajun Jambalaya

Here’s What You Need
4 tablespoons bacon grease or about three slices of bacon
1 pound pork shoulder or boneless ribs
1 pound Andouille Sausage sliced in medallions
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts diced
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs diced
3 cups Yellow Onions chopped
1 cup green onions chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups green bell peppers chopped
1/2 to 1 cup Celery chopped
5 or 6 cloves garlic minced
3 to 4 tablespoons parsley choppped
7 cups Chicken Stock plus a little more in reserve
4 cups long grain rice uncooked
Herb and Spice Blend
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons Oregano
2 tablespoons Basil
1 tablespoon Thyme
• Kosher salt and pepper to taste
• Cayenne pepper to taste
Here’s What You Do
Prepare all your ingredients and set aside in their own small bowls: Cube all your meats; chop the veggies-you want about 5 to 6 cups all together; chop your garlic.
Mix the herb and spice blend (except the salt which you should add separately) in a bowl; set aside.
In a cast-iron Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, melt the bacon grease over medium heat. Brown the cubed pork for 15 to 20 minutes, carefully scraping the brown sticky bits off the bottom as it cooks.
After about 20 minutes add the sausage and brown with the pork. Continue to scrap the bottom of the pan. Brown the pork and sausage together for about 10 minutes, rendering as much of the fat as possible.
Add the chicken to the pork and sausage in the dutch oven. Turn up the heat just a bit as the chicken will start to lose its water. Keep stirring. After 10 to 15 minutes you should have a nice batch of browned meat and some grease in the pot.
Add the veggies to the dutch oven with the meat; stir until they are mixed well with the meats. You want them to cook down and begin to caramelize. Brown for about 15 minutes, stirring as needed not to let them scorch on the bottom of the pan. After about 15 minutes add the garlic and stir until aromatic-about 2 minutes or so. Add about half of the Herb and Spice Blend and some kosher salt, stir it up good.
Now you will add the stock. Start with just about a cup or so at first and use it to deglaze the bottom. Add the parsley and about half the remaining Herb and Spice Blend-save a little to add at the end if you think you need it. Now add the remaining stock and bring to a steady simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
After 15 minutes add the rice, stir together and return to a full boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot tightly and cook on low for a total of 30 minutes. Do not uncover the pot except one time-at the 15 minute mark to stir the jambalaya completely-scrapping off the bottom so it does not scorch; replace the lid to cover tightly.
After 30 minutes (15 minutes after you stirred) taste it-it’s done if the rice is cooked. If all of the stock has not been absorbed, cook it a little more uncovered; if all the stock has been absorbed but it’s not quite cooked, add a little of the stock you reserved and cook it covered another 5 minutes or so. Keep checking like this and it will be done.
This is a Classic Jambalaya because it’s the basic pork, sausage and chicken in the cajun style. Other meats and veggies can be used but its best if most of your meat has a relatively high fat content. The quantities don’t have to be exact but should be somewhat proportional; but if there is something you like-use more, if there is something you don’t like-use less or substitute.

A flavorful and nicely colored Cajun Jambalaya is the result of the process. It does not take an extremely long time to cook a good jambalaya, but it must not be rushed. The step of browning and rendering of each meat, in a progression of fattiest to leanest, lays the foundation for the rich flavor and color you are looking for. By starting this process in bacon grease…well, you get the point. Slowly caramelizing the trinity in the meats develop even more flavor, then adding the Herbs and Spices in stages while slowly simmering the vegetables and meats in the chicken stock before adding the rice, builds an unbelievably flavorful base which the long-grain rice will absorb. Two important things about the rice: DO NOT uncover the pot once you get the rice simmering except to stir it ONCE and be careful not to overcook it..a soggy jambalaya is a sad jambalaya.

The recipe can be cut in half or doubled easily.

A heavy cast iron Dutch oven is best, but all you need is a pot that you can cover tightly big enough to hold all the ingredients. Getting all your ingredients prepped and together before you start will make this process much easier.

Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g