Jambalaya has become the most famous rice dish in America. The origin
of this dish cannot be disputed. When the early Spanish settlers
came to New Orleans in the early 1700s, they brought with them the
recipe for their famous paella. Since the ingredients for paella
were not to be found in South Louisiana, their recipe was quickly
adapted to the products at hand. Oysters and crawfish replaced clams
and mussels in the recipe, while andouille took the place of ham.
Because the main ingredient in the dish was rice, the dish was named
"Jambon a la yaya." Yaya is the African word for rice,
and there is no argument that the "black hand in the pot"
had a tremendous influence on our jambalaya. Today, many variations
of the dish are made with whatever ingredients are available. However,
the most popular combination is pork, chicken and andouille.
- 3 pounds pork, cubed
- 2 pounds andouille, sliced
- 1/4 cup Crisco or bacon drippings
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup garlic, diced
- 8 cups beef or chicken stock
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- salt and cayenne pepper
- Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce
- 5 cups long grain rice
In a 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven, heat Crisco or bacon drippings
over medium-high heat. Sauté cubed pork until dark brown
on all sides and some pieces are sticking to the bottom of the pot,
approximately 30 minutes. This is very important as the brown color
of jambalaya is derived from the color of the meat. Add andouille
and stir fry an additional 10-15 minutes. Tilt the pot to one side
and ladle out all oil, except for one large cooking spoon. Add onions,
celery, bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking until all vegetables
are well caramelized. However, be very careful as vegetables will
tend to scorch. Add beef or chicken stock, bring to a rolling boil
and reduce heat to simmer. Cook all ingredients in stock approximately
15 minutes for flavors to develop. Add mushrooms, green onions and
parsley. Season to taste using salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold.
I suggest that you slightly over-season since the rice tends to
require a little extra seasoning. Add rice, reduce heat to very
low, cover and cook 30-45 minutes, stirring at 15 minute intervals.
Do not uncover except to stir.