Sausage & Chicken Jambalaya

Sausage & Chicken JambalayaThis one dish meal is great for a weeknight, and can be made as spicy or mild as you like. You can use any type of sausage that you like, though if using a raw one, I suggest either completely removing it from the casing and cooking it up like ground meat, or cooking it whole with the casing still on, then slicing it up thick and adding it to the pot later. Just be careful when stirring the dish later that if you’ve cut up the sausage that it doesn’t crumble and break up too much! This recipe will makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
¾ pound sausage, sliced into rounds
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (398ml) can crushed Italian tomatoes
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ¼ cups uncooked white rice
3 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Sauté sausage until browned. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside. A lot of oil will naturally render when you are cooking the sausage, so you can use this very flavourful oil to now cook the chicken pieces in. If you find that you don’t have enough oil from cooking the sausages, you can always add a bit more oil to the pan. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté them until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In the same pot, sauté onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and season with red pepper, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, thyme, basil and oregano. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Serve hot!

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Our Southern “Canadian” Heritage

Cajun MapSo there is a cultural demographic located in the southern United States know as Cajuns (pronounced KAY-jun). This group of people celebrate a rich and fascinating history, filled with their own language, music, religious leanings, and of course, foods! So what does Canada have to do with this? Quite a lot actually.

Back in the day (y’know, around 1710), the British overtook the section of what was then called French Acadia (now the maritime area of Canada). Over the next 45 years, the Acadians (pronounced Ah-KAY-dee-yans), loyal to the French, refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain, and in fact did everything they could to participate in militia operations against the British. The British, not appreciating the local rebellion, began to deport the Acadians from Acadia, in what became known as “The Great Upheaval” or “Le Grand Dérangement”.

While some moved to France, or other parts of Canada, a large contingent moved to the region of Atakapa, in present-day Louisiana. Over time, the term “Acadians” became “Cajun”, and the Cajun people flourished in the warm climate of Louisiana and it’s Bayous. While there are endless topics that I could focus on within the Cajun world, this week, I’m going to zero in on the food! So this week, look forward to Jambalaya, Gumbo, Dirty Rice and more!