Cajun Jambalaya - Recipe # 2

This is the second version of my Cajun Jambalaya recipe. I've changed it just slightly the last few times I've made it, but this is the best so far! I think I'm going to stick to this recipe all the way.

3 yellow onions, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 green pepper, diced or dried equivalent 
3 stalks celery, diced
1 small bunch parsley chopped, or 1/2 cup dried parsley
8 small tomatoes, quartered
3 cups sliced (frozen) okra
1 large can fire roasted, whole tomatoes such as Muir Glen 
1 1/2 bulbs (yes, bulbs) of garlic, chopped
3 cups (dry) brown rice, cooked separately 
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into small bite sized pieces, seasoned with hickory salt or sea salt and pepper 
2 lbs shelled shrimp, cut in half if large
5 andouille sausages, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into "half moons"
1 1/2 sticks butter
4 T olive oil
1/2 cup flour
5 cups seafood or shrimp stock (optional items added to stock, see below) 5 cups prior to simmering. 
4 T smoked paprika
1 1/2 T liquid smoke (Applewood flavor)
4 bay leaves 
4 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce 
2 T Red pepper flakes 
2 tsp cayenne pepper
sliced jalapenos (optional garnish)

Makes 12- 16 dinner sized portions. Freezes extremely well. Amazing leftovers! Total prep to finish time 60 - 75 min. 

Begin shrimp or seafood stock in medium sauce pan. I use seafood stock consume with water (i've used homemade shrimp stock in the past, too) with the addition of these items for extra flavor: 1 lemon, sliced in half, 4 stalks celery, cut in sections, 5 bay leaves, 1 onion peel, center rind of 1 red pepper, 8-10 tiny center garlic cloves. Simmer stock until ready to mix into jambalaya. 
In a hot large stock pot, add 1/2 stick butter, and olive oil. Add onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Sauté until tender. Add tomatoes, cook 4-5 more minutes. Meanwhile, make a roux with remaining 1 stick butter, and flour. Mix roux into pot, combining well. Add seafood stock, chicken and okra. Continue to stir frequently, keeping heat on medium-low. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes. As it's simmering, add seasoning. Finally, add shrimp, rice, and sausages, simmer 10 more minutes until all shrimp are pink. You may continue letting the dish simmer on very low if you are not ready to eat, or can serve if you are. Top with optional jalapenos, if desired. 

I always make enough of this recipe to freeze it. Why?! Because it takes a good amount of time to make, and is totally fantastic when you need a quick meal from the freezer. In addition, I usually make a freezer container for a large meal and one for a smaller lunch version for 2. 

Other notes: This is the first time I added liquid smoke and andouille. I must say - those 2 items made the dish! I generally do not care for sausage, but the mildness of the andouille adds excellent flavor. 

Hope you enjoy! 


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