Friday Night Mess, or Jumbalaya

It was supposed to be a quiet night in with the Hubs and a DVD as he was working early in the morning. However, I was asked to go for a few drinks by the Mother in Law. I felt I had to do my wifely duties and represent, so dinner was a bit of an off the cuff, rushed affair, but tasty nonetheless.

The last time I made a jumbalaya was when I was trying to lose timber, so it was a Weight Watchers recipe which was a bit insipid and lacked one of the main elements of a jumbalaya – chorizo!

The idea of making this dish was born out of a few factors:

  1. I had lots of leftover chicken from the Nigella dish the previous night 
  2. I had bought some cooking chorizo the other day 
  3. I was after something relatively easy, a one pot dish.
  4. I had all of the ingredients needed.

I based the recipe on Jamie Oliver’s Chicken and Sausage Jumbalaya from his America book, but again, with a few tweaks. The main one is that Jamie roasts off chicken thighs for it, but with me having lots of leftover cooked chicken, I threw this in later on. I have to say it was a really lovely comforting dish with a lovely spicy kick! 

I’ll definitely be making this again but when I do, I’ll probably put in half the quantity of tomatoes to turn down the acidity, and add more chorizo to add more zing. These quantities are, as I mentioned a bit ad libbed but it made about 4 generous servings.

My Take on Jamie’s Jumbalaya
125g chorizo sausage chopped into 1cm thick slices 
250g cooked chicken, chopped into chunks (you can use raw, just cook this off after the chorizo) 
Couple of handfuls of king prawns, preferably raw, but I had some cooked.
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
1 pepper, deseeded and chopped (preferably green, I only had a yellow)
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
3 cloves of garlic sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped (feel free to leave seeds in if you like it hot!)
1 tin of tomatoes, chopped
500ml chicken stock
300g long grain rice ( I didn’t have enough long grain so used basmati too)

Starting with a cold, large* casserole pan, add the chorizo and turn onto a medium heat and allow the oil from the chorizo to render out and the pieces to brown. I find that by starting off with a cold pan stops the chorizo from browning too quickly and means the oil renders out nicely.

After 5 mins, add the onion, pepper, celery, thyme and bay. Season. Keep on the heat until everything softens, about 10 minutes. Stir regularly.

Then add the chilli and garlic, soften slightly and then add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer and the add the rice. Stir well and then clamp on the lid. Make sure you stir every few minutes making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It will take about 15-20 minutes for the rice to cook through.

Stir in the prawns and add a little more water if it’s looking too dry. You’re looking for a porridgy consistency at this point. Place the lid on again and continue cooking for about 3 mins.

Serve with a green salad if you like. We didn’t.

Hubs took leftovers to work the next day. He thought it tasted even better after the flavours developed even more.

*I emphasise large, I used my 20cm Le Creuset and then had to transfer everything to a much larger pan later, as I didn’t realise it would make quite so much!

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