Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya Review

Living in the South brings many joys, but one of the greatest is our relationship with food. We love to talk about what we are cooking, what we just ate & what we are planning to eat later! For some of us the word obsessed would define our culinary viewpoint!

East Texas enjoys sharing the culture of Louisiana with our lakes, rivers & foods! I love Creole or Cajun food but to really know how to make it right you have to learn from a pro. Chefs like Paul Prudhomme & Emeril Lagasse made Cajun cool, but Robert Medina's new cookbook makes it accessible to everyone. His skill of writing & explaining step by step is great for the experienced cook or the novice.

Last evening we had the best Jambalaya I have ever eaten. Now lots of people say things like that, but first of all...I've eaten Jambalaya in many places.  If it's ever on a menu I try it, most of the time I am not overly impressed. Unless a restaurant is an authentic Cajun place, they have no idea what they are doing! They throw things together and make a jumble-yaya!! My favorite was from a restaurant in Houston that was based in Louisiana...need I say more.

To make this experience with a new recipe review interesting, I let my 25 yr old son take the lead in making this recipe. He makes great chili, grills burgers, & can make cornbread like a champ so I thought it was time he stretched and learned a little Cajun flavor. I think it's so important to teach our children to cook, giving them more freedom to be in the kitchen. My son has been in the kitchen with me for years & he can really cook, now if he just cleaned as well..


Last night we made Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya from Robert Medina's new cookbook "If You Can't Stand The Heat"  This recipe is simple, has common ingredients, & goes together with little effort. Most recipe items will be in your pantry, vegetable tray or spice cabinet. He uses chicken thighs, andouille sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, green onions, rice & spices.
Various spices for Flashover Seasoning
In Roberts cookbook he gives the recipe for his Flashover Seasoning; a blend of wonderful spices that are purely Cajun through & through! It can be used on anything that needs a little kick!

Flashover Seasoning

Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya

 Most Jambalaya recipes are about the same, but this one has a twist. The chicken skin is removed and rendered to get the oil to cook the jambalaya. I have been cooking for many years & have never fried chicken skin! It worked like a dream & extracted the chicken fat very nicely. This is what makes this recipe different from all the others I have ever tried. I will say I think it's the key to this jambalaya and can not be changed if you want the authentic taste. Let me tell you, you want this taste! This is the best jambalaya I have ever eaten, hands down.

This Thursday we will be cooking "Mexican Spaghetti" from our featured cookbook, yes Mexican...see Louisiana & Texas are cooking cousins! Also sometime this week I am making the Apple Bread Pudding..and hiding it from my family!!

Next week's Monday review will be "Both Right & Lite Red Beans & Rice" If your not familiar with Red Beans, they are usually served on Mondays in restaurants in the south. I have to go hit the gym now..think I'm going to need it!

"If You Can't Stand The Heat" will be released July12th 2011. Can be pre-ordered from Barnes & Nobles online now. You won't regret it if you love great food that's easy to cook!

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