[FOODIES CORNER] Make this Jambalaya Rice for Easter

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Jambalaya rice should not be confused with Jollof rice…
I know it has the same brilliant red colour as our beloved Jollof rice, but don’t be fooled; it is not. I find that jambalaya develops its own identity. Jollof is simple, and it does not require much to prove itself. All of the ingredients and huge flavours have been mashed down and embedded in each grain of rice, however in jambalaya, the majority of the flavours are placed on top of the tomato rice.

If Jambalaya appears to be a descendant of Jollof rice, that’s insane! It really is. Jambalaya originated in New Orleans, but it has French and West African roots. If you want to visualise what it tastes like, think of Jollof rice crossed with fried rice.

Substitutions

  •  Meats– Jambalaya requires a good amount of meats and that’s why its at the top of my menu and it deserves a place on yours. To this recipe you can add, sausages/hotdogs, diced fresh chicken , bacon and if you are feeling extra add some shrimp!
  • Rice– We like our rice saucy but not too saucy! Texture is super important and that’s why I suggest  Long grain parboiled rice in this recipe but another alternative is basmati rice . I prefer to use long grain parboiled rice because it’s easier to control its texture. I advice against white rice because it has a sticky consistency that doesn’t pair well with this particular recipe.
  •  Bell peppers– Use red, green and yellow bell peppers for the vibrant rainbow effect but feel free to use less or more…but more veggies is always best. If you stay on this blog long enough you will realize that I use jalapeño peppers in place of green bell peppers a lot and that is simply because they are not as sweet as bell peppers and not as hot as scotch bonnets. They find a good spot in the middle that your taste buds rave for.
  •  Chicken Broth–  you can boil some chicken with bones or  use just water and 1 extra stock cube or store bought chicken broth.
  • Spices– the main stream recipe requires Cajun spice but this recipe is fully Nigerian so it just needs a few spices…nothing too crazy …salt, black pepper, paprika, stock cubes, thyme and /or oregano, curry and bayleaf.
  • Onion– We need the green onion and the red onion. The green onion is for the vibrant finishing while the red onion is for the heavenly aroma. You can decide to garnish the rice with the red onion if you like.
  • INGREDIENTS

    • 4.5 cups long grain rice washed
    • 3 bell peppers red, yellow, green
    • 4 hot dogs or sausage sliced
    • 1/2 lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
    • 2 chicken breasts cut into little bits
    • 1 onion sliced
    • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
    • 1 scotch bonnet
    • green onion sliced
    • 1 can tomatoe 796ml
    • 1 can tomatoes paste 156ml
    • 1 cup chicken broth homemade or store bought
    • oil enough to fry

    SPICES

    • salt
    • black pepper
    • paprika
    • 2 stock cubes
    • curry
    • thyme
    • oregano

    INSTRUCTIONS

    STIR FRY THE PROTEINS AND VEGETABLES

    • Slice your chicken and sausage into tiny bits. Season chicken lightly with salt, paprika and black pepper.
    • Add some oil into a pot and stir fry your sausages for 5 minutes and take them out then stir fry your chicken for 5 minutes and take it out
    • Lightly season shrimp with paprika and salt. Stir fry for 2 minutes and set aside
    • Next, stir fry bell peppers and sweet corn. Season with Stock cube curry thyme and salt for 5 minutes and then set aside

    PREPARE RICE

    • Add oil to the pot and sauté chopped onion till translucent then add in 1 can of tomatoes paste and keep frying until the paste begins to split
    • Pour in blended tomatoes and season with thyme, oregano, curry, salt , bayleaf and stock cube. let the mixture boil for 10-15 minutes
    • Add in washed rice and 1 whole scotch bonnet. Add in enough water to cover the top of the rice, lower the heat and let the rice steam for 30 minutes
    • Add in stir fried vegetables and proteins into the pot of rice and let it cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
    • Serve and enjoy