Creole Jambalaya originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. During my one visit to this unique and very culturally diverse city I remember being struck by two things – the beautiful buildings, and the delicious cuisine, which was far different from anything I had experienced in the Midwest. Creole jambalaya started off as an attempt by the Spanish who settled in New Orleans to make paella; saffron was not readily available due to the cost of importation, so tomatoes acted as a substitute. As time went on the French influence in New Orleans became much more pronounced, and they put their own culinary stamp on this already international dish. Spices from the Caribbean completed the transformation of Spanish paella into an international, though at the same time uniquely American, dish.
We do not have leftovers in our house on a regular basis, but sometimes Nick and I will not be able to finish a whole chicken, especially one that is stuffed with sausage. So I had to come up with a creative way to make use of the leftover chicken meat, and jambalaya immediately came to mind. With its mixture of chicken pieces, sausage, and delightful spice it seemed like the perfect way to dress up the leftovers from the night before. And of course I added my own modifications, opting for cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of the typical white rice, and tweaking the seasoning blend to match my tastes and the contents of my cupboard. This is my end result – a very tasty Creole-style stew that comes together in a snap.
1 16oz bag frozen cauliflower
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 cups chicken stock
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cups sliced okra (I used frozen – okra is tough to find here in Wisconsin)
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
2 cups leftover chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cups cooked shrimp, chopped (If you are into shrimp – if not, they are totally optional, just go ahead and skip them . . . there is already plenty of protein in this dish!)
Start off by preparing your cauliflower ‘rice.’ Steam the cauliflower until it is cooked through, more crisp-tender than mushy. Then strain off the water and set the cauliflower aside to cool.
Heat up a large stock pan and add your olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and sausage. Stir occasionally, cooking until the sausage is nicely browned and the onion is translucent. Then add your chicken stock, tomatoes, okra, and spice cocktail to the pot.
(I should give a little disclaimer – this recipe is on the spicy side. If you have a lower tolerance for spice, then go ahead and imagine the word ‘scant’ before all of my spice measurements.)
While you are waiting for your jambalaya to boil, grab your cooled cauliflower and a cheese grater and begin grating the cauliflower to achieve a rice-like consistency. Once your pot has boiled turn the heat down to low and add the cauliflower rice, chicken, and shrimp to the mix. Cook until everything is heated through, then ladle into bowls and serve.
I am sharing this recipe at Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, World Food Thursdays at Helladelicious, Frugal Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Food Trip Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Potluck, Fight Back Friday, Feed Me. Tweet Me, Follow Me Home Friday, and Fresh Bites Friday.