Most recipes from my home land of New Orleans include pork (or alcohol). It is a sad reality that I have to face everyday. I thought about organizing a marathon to raise awareness of this travesty, but no one I know wants to run or even walk.
Alas, I have dried my tears and become a creative cook because I refuse to let a little pork get in the way of destroying the traditional dishes of my people.
One of my favorite home town dishes is jambalaya (JUM-bah-LIE-yah). It is a twist on Spanish paella with French and Caribbean spices.
Test kitchen-ed and written by Theresa Corbin
In jambalaya, andouille (ANN-do-ee) sausage usually features in the recipe. And if not that spicy, pork sausage, then some other form of ham is mixed in. But it shouldn’t be a big surprise to know that you can just leave the pork products out and !viola! you have a halal jambalaya recipe.
It really is that easy. And you really don’t miss it. You can add any other kind of meat that you want. I added chicken, but shrimp, crab, beef sausage, or all of the above, work just as well.
Wikipedia (the source for lazy people) says, “Creole jambalaya, or red jambalaya as it is called by Acadian-Creoles (mistakenly known as Cajuns), is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as ‘jambalaya’. City Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas rural jambalaya does not.” The further outside of New Orleans you go, the more popular the tomato-less, brown jambalaya is.
This is a recipe for brown jambalaya or the rural variety. I prefer brown jambalaya to red. Which, I must admit, feels like a betrayal of my Acadian-Creole heritage, but I just really don’t like tomato dishes. So if you do or think you will like red jambalaya -which is the most common kind- just add one fresh, diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup tomato sauce when you add garlic, celery, bell pepper, scallions.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound chicken, cubed
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (add more if you want more heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, diced (I used dried flakes)
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup raw rice
1 whole bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a big ole pot (I believe that is the technical term) on medium heat. Add onion and brown.
Add chicken, creole seasoning, and hot sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken browns.
Add garlic, celery, bell pepper, and scallions, and sauté until veggies are softened a bit (about 7 minutes).
Add rice, bay leaf, salt and pepper and sauté for a few more minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 mins.
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