My children come home from school tired and hungry. At the end of the day I'm tired and hungry. And cold. We all crave foods that will nurture our souls and yet trying to feed my family warm comfort food that is not loaded with unnecessary fat and calories can be hard to do. My family does love soup, but they like hearty soups. I loosely followed Emeril's Mardi Gras Jambalaya - I took the idea and his ingredients and made it my own. As a busy mother of three children, I do not have hours to spend in the kitchen and yet I do not want to cut unnecessary corners. I want to prepare a nice meal that won't cost me what little free time I have. This worked wonderfully!
1 red bell pepper, finely diced1 yellow pepper, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 medium to large onion, finely diced
4 Tbs Olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1lb chicken sausage
1 1/2 cups of excellent quality jarred salsa
2 cartons organic chicken broth
1 cups of rice2 bay leaves
Emeril's Essence (Recipe follows)
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
This creole seasoning is fabulous and should be a staple in your pantry!
Traditional jambalaya does not use salsa but chopped or canned tomatoes. I like the ease of the salsa and the additional flavors it brings to this dish. It's also a good way to sneak some extra veggie into my kids' diets!
In a large pan saute sausage. (I remove bite-sized bits from the casing and toss them into the pan) When sausage is nicely browned -- the darker the better -- place into a paper towel lined bowl. Add 2 tbs of olive oil to the pan and toss in vegetables. Cook until nicely browned. Add 1 tsp of Emeril's Essence. When done, add the vegetables to the bowl the sausages are in. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the cubed chicken. Season with another teaspoon or so of Emeril's Essence. Cook until well browned. Add to bowl.
In a large sauce pan cook the rice per directions on the box. When the rice is done add the broth, salsa, bay leaves, meat and veggies. Simmer until ready to serve.
We sliced up and toasted a Parmesan baguette and used it to sop up the broth. Fabulous!