A bunch of us all had supper together on the weekend, and as it wasn't ready when he got there, The Boy ended up helping. He's quite the cook, as it happens. Anyway; he mentioned that he would like to have a supper where he and I cook together. Woot! Cooking, and with my baby. Two wonderful things in one.
A co-worker gave me some chemical-free smoked sausage, and I had a lot of fantastic stock from the remains of the previously mentioned family supper (The Boy bought four roaster chickens from some Hutterites. And let me tell you, they are truly roasters. They looked like small turkeys), so Jambalaya seemed like a good call.
I bought the shrimp and chicken and tomatoes (tomatoes because we were making creole, not cajun jambalaya) and various other things on the way home. And when I got home...The Boy was asleep. Drat.
I said I'd get the mise-en-place done, and then get him. I got a vague grunt in reply. When I was ready to start the cooking, I went and talked to him again. And again, he gave me a vague grunt. At least, I think it was him, as all I could see was a lumpy duvet. Not even a little shock of hair was showing.
I ended up making the meal on my own. Well, partly. I cooked on my own but I had intelligent and lively companionship as The Man was over for supper. He even ran next door for a package of buns when it became apparent the meal was going to be a wee bit hotter than I thought it would be! Too hot for me, in the end, but fine for both Man and Boy. Here's what it looked like, more or less:
1.5 pounds cubed chicken. I used thighs, for better flavour but breast meat would be fine.
1 pound uncooked, peeled deveinded shrimp
1 pound sliced smoked sausage. Andouille, Chorizo, Kilebasa, what ever you like to eat, and can deal with heat-wise.
3 cups stock. I used chicken, but I know some people use water. If you've bought unshelled shrimp and have all day long you could make stock from the shells once they're off. Or...just go buy stock. There are some good choices out there.
2 tins (7.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 onion, medium dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
1 green pepper, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, fine dice
thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, 1 tsp each.
2 Bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 cup rice
oil for browning
Brown the sliced sausage in the oil. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving oil and scrapings behind. Brown the chicken, with some salt and pepper and more oil if needed. Remove that too. Cook the onion, pepper and celery for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, cook an additional minute. Add the stock, tomatoes, rice, spices, meat and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for thirty minutes.
Add the shrimp, and let it poach until it is pink through, about ten minutes. SErve it up! I also added (to my regret) a pinch of pepper flakes. So if you want it too spicy for me but ok for most people do that too.
I still have some lovely stock left over, but with a storm on the way, I see a soupy weekend in my future!