Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A delicious and thrifty meal using up leftover meat

We love to Barbecue. (What we call Barbecue in this part of the country is really grilling to the rest of you. So excuse my southernism.) We sometimes have a leftover piece of pork chop, steak, chicken or sausage. I get so excited when we do because then I get to make one of my favorite Cajun meals... Jambalaya. If this economy is squeezing your grocery budget, this is a great way to squeeze back!

Now you don't have just use leftover Barbecue, any leftover meat will do. Roast, baked chicken... Next time you have some leftover meat, tear it into small pieces and put it in a ziplock bag, label it "Jambalaya Meat" and freeze it. When you have a nice amount of different types of meat, pull out the bag of meat and this recipe to make what will become a family favorite. It's easy, fast and delicious.

Cajun Jambalaya

Pieces of raw deboned chicken (white and dark) from ½ of a chicken
1 lb. smoked sausage diced
(you can also add pieces of pork if you like – brown with the chicken)
OR just pieces of leftover chicken, sausage, beef and/or pork. The more variety, the merrier.
1 c. shrimp cut into small pieces (optional)
2 Tbl. Olive Oil
2 Tbl. Roux (you can buy a jar of this at your store and keep in the fridge) *I have been making it without the roux as it seems someone always ends up with a mouthful of roux. Yuck! If you use it, make sure you don't use it in the crockpot and mix it in very well in your pot.
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 ½ c. chicken stock
½ t. celery salt
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. Tabasco
1 Tbl. Tony Chachere’s
1 Tbl. parsley
¼ c. of green onions, minced
2 c. raw Basmati Rice

Season chicken with salt & pepper. Brown chicken and sausage in olive oil in heavy pot. Saute onions & garlic. If you are using only leftover meat, begin by sauteing onions and garlic in oil by themselves. Add chicken stock, shrimp, salt, thyme, Tabasco, parsley, Roux* and Tony Chachere’s. Make sure your Roux gets dissolved in the water so you don't have chunks of it in the final product. Add any leftover meat at this stage.* When water comes to a boil, pour in raw rice. Let mixture come to a boil again, stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes, until rice is tender. Add green onions and cook for 5 more minutes. Enjoy.

*This is a great way to use up leftover meat and gives each jambalaya a slightly different taste. Barbecue meat adds an especially nice smoky flavor to the dish.

Crockpot instructions:
Add everything (except shrimp and green onions) to crock pot. Low heat for 3 hours.
Don't use roux in the crockpot. It doesn't mix well. If you are adding shrimp and green onions then in the last hour turn crockpot to high. Add shrimp and green onions and stir in. High Heat for 1 hour.

1 comment:

Axon L. Parker said...

Yep. This will be going on next week's menu.....!!

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