I am continuing the slow cooker series from the hotel room with a nice warm and spicy pot of jambalaya. Jambalaya is perfect for warming up the soul and body after a cold day outside in the wintertime. I also know plenty of people who will eat it in the summer but I find foods like this more satisfying the winter, but that is just my personal preference. Hubby laughs at me all the time because I refuse to eat certain types of food in certain seasons. I always say “heavy foods in the winter to keep you warm and light foods in the summer to keep you cool.”
I did not make the jambalaya completely from scratch since I was cooking in the hotel. Instead, I started out with a box of Zataran’s Jambalaya rice mix. It is my go-to mix when I do not have time to make it all myself. And it is a good mix, although not to toot my own horn (which I am going to do anyway!), I think my completely homemade mix is better.
Because this was hotel cooking I purchased boneless, skinless chicken thighs and shelled and deveined shrimp to keep the mess to the minimum. The hotel girls are already getting unhappy with the amount of trash our room produces over others. I guess we are just messy people! LOL, but actually it is because we prepare most of our meals there instead of eating out as much and any of you who cooks, knows cooking is messy work. Especially when I have to buy everything in containers or tins which I normally would not do. They will just have to deal!
I also tossed in some chicken andouille sausage because I like my jambalaya loaded with yummy ingredients. Added some jalapeno, diced tomatoes and extra spices. One thing to remember is to save the shrimp for the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking. Leave them frozen and just pop in on top of the rest of the mix and they will cook up perfectly without overcooking.
Hubby gave this one a thumb’s up, although I did the cardinal sin of slightly overcooking the rice. I am used using better quality rice and accidentally left it on a little too long. To avoid overcooking the rice, keep the pot on low and do not leave it on for more than 3 to 4 hours. Even though, it was yummy with lots of deep spicy flavors and the mixture of chicken, shrimp and sausage were just full of savory goodness.
1 box Zataran’s Jambalaya Rice mix
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 lb. Andouille sausage, sliced (I used chicken)
1/2 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 jalapeno, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 (14.5) cans of water or chicken stock
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 cup onions, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
Place all the ingredients, except shrimp, into a crock pot, mixing well. Cover with lid, turn the pot on low and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
15 to 20 minutes before finished cooking, add the shrimp to the pot. Recover and cook until shrimp are done. They will be light pink and shaped in the form of a “C.” Overcooked shrimp curl completely up and are tough and chewy, instead of sweet and delicate.
Serve immediately or wait until the next day when flavors have melded together and taste even yummier.
Leftovers can be frozen and reheated later for more jambalaya goodness.
Other tasty versions of jambalaya for you to try: