Let's Jam

Bring on the soup, stew, chili and now, jambalayaaaa! My favorite kind of foods. I tried to convince my family to let me make this jambalaya back when it was still hitting 100, they didn't go for it.  Now that it's relatively chilly most days, I jumped on my chance again. 

Alana from Eating From The Ground Up is the mind behind my new cookbook, The Homemade Kitchen. The book is stocked with recipes using fresh and delicious ingredients. This is one of my favorite Blogging for Books cookbooks I have received. I love how real the recipes are. No crazy ingredients, nothing too fussy. Alana has specific mantras she lives by while in the kitchen. Feed yourself, eat outside, start where you are, be a beginner, and more. My favorite is "do your best and then let go."

Jambalaya from The Homemade Kitchen
serves 6-8

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
6 oz. chopped bacon
2-3 leeks, cut in half and thinly sliced
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
3 cups hot chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup uncooked rice
12 oz cooked, andouille sausage, cut and cooked into 1/2-inch rounds
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Toss the chicken with the paprika and salt and set aside. heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stiffing often until crispy about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a medium bowl, leaving the bacon fat in the pot. Cook the chicken in the fat, stirring occasionally until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and add to the bacon bowl. 

If you don't have enough bacon grease leftover, add oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the leeks and onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the red peppers, jalapeno, garlic and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the whole mixture is cooked down, slightly brown and smells delicious.

Heat your stock in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves, rice and sausage and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.  Add the hot stock as well as the reserved bacon and chicken, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook undisturbed until the rice is tinder and the stock is mostly absorbed, about 30 to 45 minutes. It may take longer depending on your rice. If you are using shrimp, add it during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once the shrimp is pink, remove the bay leaves, top with scallions and parsley and serve immediately. Best with with a little hot sauce and some cornbread!

I got a little frustrated while I was cooking this dish because the rice wasn't cooking, and it was taking much longer. I tend to get flustered when I'm cooking for others. With a little patience I finally got it finished. I wish I had Alana with me saying, "do your best and then let go." Once the dish got to the table everyone loved it. 

You can purchase The Homemade Kitchen here and make sure to check out Alana's blog for more of her recipes!


I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. If you are a also a blogger make sure to check out their site on how you too can start Blogging for Books!