Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Spaghetti Squash

I got this recipe from the March issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  I've had to fiddle with a few things here and there (some of it because I forgot and others because I didn't have time, or didn't want, to get all the separate spices and herbs).  Instead of rice (which is a Paleo no-no), I served this with spaghetii squash.

A tip:  this dish was so friggin' good but reminded me of what a pain it is to be spending a lot of time doing prep work for cooking.  So if you're short on time, don't even THINK about attempting this.  But this was seriously some good eats, especially on a cold day like today.

What you'll need:

-  12oz applewood smoked bacon, diced (I used an entire 18oz pack of thick-cut applewood bacon)

-  1.5lbs smoked fully-cooked sausage (i.e. linguica), halved lengthwise and cut cross-wise into 1/2in-thick semi-circles

-  1lb andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise, cut cross-wise into 1/2in cubes

1.5lbs onions, chopped (4 - 5 cups)

-  2 large celery stalks, chopped

-  1 8- to 10-oz red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

-  1 8- to 10-oz green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

-  6 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 1.5in-thick pieces

Don't forget to trim off excess fat as best as you can!

-  4 - 5 tbsp of Cajun seasoning
-  2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles

-  2 cups of low-sodium beef broth

-  8 green onions, chopped

-  1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

Right... these aren't seeded yet

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Stick halved squash onto large shallow baking dish filled with water (about an inch high) and stick in pre-heated oven

3.  Cook bacon in very large pot over medium-high heat until brown (but not yet crisp), stirring often (about 8 - 10min)

4.  Add smoked sausage and andouille and saute until meat starts to brown in spots (about 10min)

5.  Add onions, celery, and bell peppers.  Cook until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally.

6.  Mix in chicken and cook until outside of chicken turns white, stirring often

7.  Stir in Cajun seasoning and let cook for another minute

8.  Add diced tomatoes and beef broth and stir to blend well.  Add more cayenne (or Cajun seasoning) if desired.

8.  Bring jambalaya to a boil (according to Sarah Fragoso, if you want the sauce to be a bit thicker, use a little bit of xantham gum or coconut flour instead of cornstarch.  A teeny tiny bit goes a REALLY LONG WAY!  So add the xantham gum like you would with cornstarch and stir as thoroughly as possible)  Cover pot and turn off heat.

9.  Obtain spaghetti squash from oven.  Position rack in bottom third of oven and place pot in oven for about 45min (I guess technically this step is unnecessary because we're not adding rice, but it's always nice if a stew gets to really marinate and get all those juices simmering around for a bit before actually eating it)

10.  Using a fork, start shredding the interior of the squash (which should be softened by now)

Not a very good close-up, but it looks like regular spaghetti, no?

11.  Fork some of the cooked spaghetti squash into a serving bowl

12.  Spoon the jambalaya on top of the bowl

13.  Garnish with some chopped green onions (maybe even some cilantro!).  Serve and enjoy!

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