TURKEY KIELBASA SPICY JAMBALAYA

Jambalaya is a creole dish that is quite popular in Louisiana. This dish was heavily influenced by Spanish and French cuisine. I've always considered jambalaya to be a cross between a spicy tomato risotto and a hearty meaty stew, so if you like the sound of that combination, chances are you will love this dish. It really is a one-pot meal that can easily feed a crowd of people. Although there are many variations of this dish, I chose to go the simple route and use a smokey turkey kielbasa sausage. You can easily substitute shrimp, chicken or shellfish into this recipe as well if you like.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 turkey kielbasa sausage - quartered (I used a 375 g sausage)
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp each: ground cumin, smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1-1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • Bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large deep shallow pan, sear the quartered turkey sausage for a few minutes, than place them on a plate for now. In the same pan, add in the chopped celery and onion, making sure to season them. When the onion gets translucent, add and toast all of the herbs and spices for a minute. Turn the heat down to low, add in the rice and lightly toast it as well.

2. Pour in the chicken stock and the diced tomatoes, and start to scrap up all of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add in the bay leaf and garlic. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Note: make sure to stir occasionally to make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. When there is a few minutes left of cooking, add the sliced mushrooms and the cooked turkey sausage. Turn the heat off as soon as it is finished cooking and fold in the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Cooks tip: If you find the chicken stock cooks out too quickly go ahead and add a 1/4 cup more at a time.


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