Aurora Catering's

 

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

 

This is the recipe I used on the TV show "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" 

 

20 LBS MILD SMOKED PORK SAUSAGE (Sliced 1/4 inch thick) (or any lean high quality smoked pork sausage)
25 LBS BONELESS- SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGH MEAT
20 LBS ONIONS (Diced)

1 -1/2 CUPS MINCED FRESH GARLIC

5 LBS TASSO (Cubed)

1/2 CUP WHOLE THYME LEAFS
1/2 CUP SWEET BASIL
1/4 CUP COARSELY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1/4 CUP WHITE PEPPER
1/4 CUP CAYENNE RED PEPPER FLAKES
1 CUP  CURLY PARSLEY (Chopped)

6 GALLONS CHICKEN STOCK (See Recipe)

25 LBS LONG GRAIN RICE

 

Method
In a 20 gallon cast iron pot and over high heat, brown the sausage slices. Use a large stainless steel paddle, and constantly move the meat from the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to burn the meat. Normally I use Manda’s sausage because it has little fat, however at this point you may want to drain off all of the excess grease to reduce the fat content from the dish.

Add the thigh meat and brown the chicken on all sides. Again use the paddle to keep the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot. The above process should take 45 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the thigh meat to the point that it shreds.

Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic; sauté for about 25 minutes or until the onions are very limp. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all the “graton”. This is where the jambalaya gets its distinct brown color and taste.

 

Add the tasso, thyme, basil and peppers; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  This will give the seasonings time to release their oils and flavors.

 

At this point the jambalaya concentrate can be transferred to smaller containers, cooled to room temperature, covered and refrigerated for future use. (This is what we do commercially, it allows the seasonings to marry.)

When you are ready to cook the jambalaya, add the stock to the concentrate and bring to a rolling boil. Taste the "soup". You can adjust seasonings at this point. Important SEE Chef's Notes below! If all is well, add the rice, reduce the heat to medium and gently break up the rice.

 

After about 5 minutes, fold in the parsley. Scrap the pot to insure that no rice sticks to the bottom. When the jambalaya returns to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest possible setting (you can even turn off the fire and let the pot "coast")  and simmer covered for at least 25 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE THE COVER, Allow the rice to steam.


Alternate Method
If Manda’s brand sausage is not available than any lean smoked sausage can be substituted. You may have to remove any excess grease from the pot after frying down an unknown sausage.

For a richer jambalaya substitute turkey stock for the chicken stock called for above.

 

IF, NO stocks are available, then chicken soup base can be used. Be careful, bases are usually full of salt.

Plate Presentation
The jambalaya is best when served directly out of the cast iron pot. While the rice is steaming, the sausage and meat will have a tendency to float to the surface of the jambalaya. Therefore, use the paddle to gently, fold in the meat and seasonings into the cooked rice. This should only be done once or twice, the rice will loose a lot of heat and the rice will break apart.

 

Also note, I do not add salt to my jambalaya. I would suggest having the table set with salt shakers and a selection of pepper sauces, like Tabasco, Louisiana Red Ball or Crystal.

Chef's Notes:

Not all tassos are created equal! Tasso is smoked ham with Cajun seasonings rubbed on the outside, and some are hotter than others.

Before adding the rice, I would suggest to taste a piece of chicken and the "soup"; it should be a little over seasoned but not burning hot with spice. Because of this I have purposely called for a little less peppers than needed. BTW, many people have asked me which tasso do I use, it is Poche's Market out of Breaux Bridge, LA. This is not intended to be an advertisement, but they are great!


This is the recipe that we use commercially for our Cajun Jambalaya. This recipe seems simple and straight forward, and truly it is.  BUT… Believe me, it takes many batches to master!


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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright © 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 20, 2011