Weekend Cooking – Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

 

Weekend Cooking is a meme from Beth Fish Reads to be found HERE.

 

 

 

Today has been a good foodie day – started with lunch after a hard morning shopping.  Sat in the back yard with:

  • a delish pate (from Wegman’s not homemade this time)
  • fresh bread
  • soft, creamy brie
  • olives
  • Jersey Peach wine (actually a very nice tasting white, has a peach scent but doesn’t taste of peaches)

Basically ignored the chores calling to me and sat with a book and my mom and read.

Dragged myself in from the lounger in the sun and started to make dinner.  My daughter had been bugging me for Jambalaya and so I used my Epicurious App and it spat out this recipe from the March 2011 Bon Appetit magazine credited to Anna Beth and Vince Chao.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked fully cooked sausage (such as linguiça), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick semi-circles
  • 1 pound andouille sausages, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound tasso or smoked ham (such as Black Forest), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds onions, chopped (4 to 5 cups)
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 8- to 10-ounce red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 8- to 10-ounce green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 6 large skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
  • 3 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups (19 to 20 ounces) long-grain white rice
  • 8 green onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preparation

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Cook bacon in very large pot over medium-high heat until brown but not yet crisp, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Add smoked sausage, andouille, and tasso. Sauté until meats start to brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Add onions, celery, and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Mix in chicken. Cook until outside of chicken turns white, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Mix in paprika, thyme, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Cook 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with chiles and broth; stir to blend well. Add more cayenne, if desired. Mix in rice.
  • Bring jambalaya to boil. Cover pot. Place in oven and bake until rice is tender and liquids are absorbed, 45 to 48 minutes. Uncover pot. Mix chopped green onions into jambalaya; sprinkle jambalaya with chopped parsley and serve.

My family really liked it, but it made tons of food and there are only four of us.   The flavors all melded well together and the consistency was near to perfect.  I gave it an extra 10 minutes to get the rice the right consistency, but that may have only been my oven.  It can be  a little tempermental.  I don’t think it will freeze well with the rice in it, so I guess it is lunch for tomorrow as well.

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The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill ***slight spoiler***

Laying in the backyard, watching the grass grow long past the point where it needs to be mowed,   and drinking a bottle of Jersey Peach wine, I finished this book.  If you would have asked me, up to around Chapter 40 I would have have said, “Great mystery, good read, 4 stars.”  Unfortunately I continued reading for another 14 chapters and the book dropped down to a 3 star.

The main character Simon Serrailler is almost incidental in some ways, he is not the main investigator for the crime, but this is the first in the series so that might account for that.  He is a good character, isolated somewhat from his family due to his life choices, divided into policman and artist, and afraid of commitment or maybe just unaware of the possibility.  He comes across as an good police officer, a fair boss, an all round decent human being.  Other characters are equally appealing, Freya, Nathan, and Cat to name a few.

The issue for me is that the reveal (to the reader anyway) occurs in a separate piece just prior to Chapter 39, but then the book goes on and on, until chapter 54 and in the end we still really don’t know why.  It most definitely was the author’s purpose to leave it that way, making the statement that we never really know another human being and often we are in the dark about people’s motivations, but it just didn’t work for me.   Certain segments in the book are told in a form of a final confession letter/journal written by the villain and so hints of his motivations, mad though he may be, are peppered throughout them.  It just was frustrating to me that they were not followed up on or resolved.  On the last page Simon is thinking about the murderer and has this one thought that made it clear that this was all very purposeful of the author:

“Cat had said that his kind could only be left to the understanding of God.  Simon wondered.”

Interesting characters and a page turner, but frustrating to me as a reader.