Jambalaya (click here)
I cook for a large group (C.O.R.A. Charleston Ocean Racing Association) once a month here in Charleston. This is the common place for me to try out large recipes like this one. It's really fun to do something like this after you've made it on a small scale. Usually, I'm able to just re-size some of my recipes and they work well. This time it didn't work. I had to improvise on the fly, by eventually separating it into 2 BIG pots, cutting down on the amount of liquid, and adding to the amount of rice. It all worked out fine, and because it was a 1 pot "hotel pan in this case) meal the buffet line moved real fast.
Because I've REALLY got to stay within a budget for this group, I opted for boneless and skinless chicken thighs again. and shaved $15.00 form the budget by doing this. The only change that's got to be made when using dark meat, is to add them to the pot shortly prior to adding the rice. The dark meat of the thighs cooks fairly quickly when they're chopped into bite-sized bits, and the meat can fall apart.
Serves 120 as a Main Course
Serves 300 as an Appetizer
1. Cut sausage into 1/2" chunks. Get some oil going in the pot you'll be cooking everything in, and brown the sausage. Remove from the pot. I use an 8 quart pot.
2. While the sausage is cooking:
Cut the chicken into chunks, 1/2 at a time (you don't want to crowd the pot, or the chicken will steam instead of brown) and brown in the same pot, adding additional oil if you need it. Remove the chicken and reserve with the sausage.
3. While the chicken is cooking, you can start chopping the vegetables. "Charlie Pepper" is a real hot Thai.. pepper that has a 25 minute afterburn. I'm sure you don't have a plant, so you can use dried peppers that or thinner than a pencil and about 2" long. Just put them in a blender and blend with enough water to make a puree", then add it to the pot. Turn the pot down to a medium heat, add additional oil, if needed, and dump in the vegetables.
Cook the vegetables aver medium / high heat, covered, until they're soft.
4. Add the tomato paste and stir until it's all incorporated. Add the sausage and chicken back into the pot, then the tomatoes and simmer for about 45 minutes. Or, until the meat is cooked through.
5. At this point, you can either continue, or, turn off the heat, and finish it off the next day, or later, if you've gotten finished too early.
6. Either the next day, Later, or, as the next step. Bring the pot back to boiling.
7. Wash the rice well to get rid of the excess starch that's on the outside of each grain. I do this by placing it in a fine meshed strainer, holding it under running water, and stirring it with my hand until the water runs clear, then add to the pot along with the chicken broth.
8. Bring it back to a boil, add the shrimp, bring it back to a boil, then turn down to simmer, covered. Cook for an additional 25 - 30 minutes stirring every once in a while to keep the rice from settling on the bottom and sticking. Taste the rice to make sure it's done. let it rest for a few minutes, then serve. Don't worry if the rice hasn't absorbed all the liquid, the resting will give it a little more time to soak into the rice.
9. If you have any left over, don't try to freeze it, I don't think it'll freeze well because of the rice. I save the left overs in plastic storage containers in the refrigerator. To reheat, place ht Jambalaya in a pot, add a little water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. It'll come out as good as the first time you had it.