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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cooking with Banshee: Jambalaya

Sports and eating are both community events.  Thanks to the gift of Twitter, that community now extends from coast to coast.  On this Fat Tuesday, this traditional and authentic jambalaya recipe appears at Banshee Sports thanks to Evan Barnes.  Being the generous sort, Mr. Barnes not only shared his recipe, but shared also an appropriate New Orleans playlist to listen to while you celebrate the culinary arts of the Big Easy.

As I understand it, this recipe is based on one that originally appeared at Allrecipes.com, but as it appears here, it has been tweaked, personalized and explained by Evan Barnes.

Jambalaya by Evan Barnes
Jambalaya Ingredients:
2.5 lbs whole chicken, chopped into pieces
1 lb andouille sausage
3 green peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz), diced tomatoes
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 bay leaves
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup uncooked white rice

Jambalaya Directions:
Place the chicken and sausage in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is done and falling off the bone (approximately 45 minutes).  Remove the chicken and the sausage.  Reserve the broth.  Shred the chicken.

In a large stock pot, cook the green pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent.  Add some reserved chicken broth, if necessary to keep from sticking.  Stir in the diced tomatoes, chili powder, pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in the shredded chicken, sausage and tomato paste.

Simmer the mixture until the spice suits your taste buds.  Add additional chicken broth if it gets too thick for your liking.  Stir in another cup of chicken broth and add the rice.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Tips:
The sausage and and chicken can be boiled ahead of time and refrigerated.  The spices can be tweaked to your personal preference.  As is, this recipe is flavorful, but black pepper and other non-salt seasonings can be added to give a personalized touch.  If you want to be a little extra healthy, quinoa can be substituted for the white rice.

Lastly, and most importantly, you can't cook an authentic New Orleans dish properly without some authentic New Orleans music.  This New Orleans themed Spotify playlist was created especially for this occasion by Evan Barnes:  NOLA.

About Evan Barnes:  Evan Barnes lives in southern California and is a sports writer for the LA Daily News.  He also blogs at Bro Jackson and at EB Sports Report.  Although we have never met in person, I readily claim Evan as my friend due to his insightful commentary on sports, religion, culture and the important places where those things intersect.  He can be your friend, too, if you follow him on Twitter at @Evan_B.  


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