Semi-Homemade Can Make Life Simpler on Busy Days
Typically, I both enjoy and prefer, to make my own spice rubs and seasoning blends. Having a family and a busy schedule, I recognize the need to simplify meal preparations some days. It's in those moments that I take advantage of a tasty meal alternative and throw together a pot of quick jambalaya. It's perfectly acceptable to reach for good, quality packaged items from the grocery store when you're in a hurry.
Tips and Pointers:
- You can make this skillet using any brand of jambalaya seasoned rice that you enjoy. Brands like Zatarain's and Tony Chachere are readily available and both have great flavor.
- As I said earlier, I usually stick to chicken and smoked sausage for this skillet meal by request. Classic jambalaya would have shrimp or crawfish included. Feel free to adapt this recipe to your liking and include those in your version.
- Keep in mind, if you choose to add seafood, it generally cooks quickly. It's best to add shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking so, it won't overcook and become rubbery.
- Because I'm adding more ingredients than a package of pre-seasoned jambalaya rice calls for, it's necessary to add additional seasoning to boost the flavor. You may use your favorite brand just taste and adjust the amount to your preference.
- This recipe easily doubles to make a larger batch.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup mixed red and green bell pepper diced (½ cup each)
- 1 rib celery diced
- olive oil
- 2 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts 1-inch cubes
- 1 13 oz smoked andouille or kielbasa sausage sliced
- ¼ cup hot sauce more or less to taste
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp Creole seasoning
- 1 8 oz box jambalaya Rice Mix i.e. Zatarain's or Tony Chachere
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
- 3 medium green onions sliced
- In a large 12-inch skillet or similar, cook the onion, peppers and celery in a few drizzles of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook until translucent and beginning to brown, around 3-5 minutes.
- Add cubed chicken and sausage. Continue to cook just until chicken begins to brown, but not cooked through around 2 minutes.
- To the chicken add minced garlic, creole seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, rice, tomatoes and chicken broth. Mix well.
- Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. If adding shrimp, add during the last 5 minutes of cooking. (12 medium-large shrimp)
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes, covered. Mix in parsley just before serving
- Serve topped with green onion and hot sauce on the side.
If you're not sure about adding extra hot sauce, you can wait and serve it on the side.