Sunday, January 8, 2017

Turkey Jambalaya - So Good not just a leftover dish

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OH BOY... Jambalaya!!!

Nut not just any Jambalaya, this is one of my favorite holiday leftover meals.  Save that turkey (dare I suggest make two???) .  Make Turkey stock from the bones (FREE cooking supplies) and dish this up for that week after Christmas.  It warms up great in the microwave and is perfect to just have around the fridge for the hustle bustle days when scheduled meals are difficult to arrange.

And of course, it simply tastes New Orleans Cajun GOOD!

Late one evening a traveling gentleman stopped by a New Orleans inn which had little food remaining from the evening meal. The traveler instructed the cook, "Jean, balayez!" or "Jean, sweep something together!" in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as "Jean balayez."

Drink a little (or a lot) hurricane or sazerac cocktail and you start slurring your words... Jean balayez becomes JAMBALAYA!

That's probably not true, but makes a great story.

enjoy indeed and worth making anytime of the year... Turkeys are cheap year round!


This recipe is one that I adapted from one I learned during my visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking. By far, it was the most popular of the main course recipes I learned during my trips to New Orleans. Easy Peasy, so lets get to it.

Dirst, a BIG suggestion... Make Turkey stock from your Holiday Bird.  Simply carve off all the meat from the carcus, fill a large Crock Pot slow cooker with water, submerge the bones and set on high.  Cook for at least 4 hours (Any longer, turn setting to low).  When ready to make the Jambalaya, remove the bones and you have stock... Will add much more flavor to your Jambalaya.

OK... here's the recipe...

Mise en Place (first, assemble your ingredients)

1/2 cup oil (divided)
2 pounds meat from a turkey boned, cut into 1 inch cubes..
2 pounds Andouille Sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
......Save 1/2 pound to grill and use as accents
4 cups Onion
2 cups Green Pepper (I had a yellow as well)
2 cups Celery
3 Tablespoons Garlic
5 cups Turkey Stock
4 cups Long Grained Rice
1/4 cup Cajun Spices
1/2 cup Green onion
2 cups tomatoes (optional)
  • Optional - For brown Jambalaya, add heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar to your roux just before adding vegetables (see next step), for red, add Paprika for color
  • In a large stock pot , make a roux with equal parts 1/4 cup oil and flour. It is VERY important to start with a clean pan. It must be free of food particles to make a successful roux. Add vegetables and later garlic to roux and stir continuously until vegetables reach desired tenderness.
  • Add Turkey and sausage to vegetables, continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in stock and Cajun seasonings. Bring to boil
  • For red Jambalaya, add 1/4 cup paprika and you can substitute 1/2 the stock for 1/2 tomato juice or V-8 juice.
  • Add rice, DO NOT STIR, but push gently on rice to get it under liquid and return to boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN POT, DO NOT STIR.
  • While the pot is cooking, slice 1/2 pound Andouille Sausage and fry in sauce pan till pretty char marks appear.
  • After 25 minutes, turn rice from top to bottom, mix meat and rice evenly. There may be some burnt bits on the bottom, but that is FILLED with flavor, and should be mixed in as well/
  • Dish it up, add sausage and green onions as accent.
  • Have Hot sauce and additional seasonings available for people who want to taste the Cajun experience to their fullest.
  • At this stage, I froze a smaller casserole dish filled with the cooked Jambalaya. ... cover the freezer casserole with Aluminum Foil, pushing the foil down so there is as little air between top of casserole and the foil as possible (prevents freezer burn). Pop in the freezer. When you want to cook this, just transfer to the refrigerator 24-48 hours before you plan to thaw and cook. If you do not have the time to thaw in the refrigerator, thaw in the microwave slowly. This dish needs to be completely thawed before re-cooking.  IMPORTANT... I add another 1/2 cup of Chicken Stock to the dish just before baking to insure moist and even cooking.  One more IMPORTANT... Do not leave in the freezer longer than 30 days or the rice will get a mushy texture.
  • Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll) and ENJOY!

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