Tag Archives: bacon

Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

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I kind of made this recipe up one day, based on the ingredients I had around the house.  Initially I was torn between calling it a jambalaya or a paella–because (this is embarassing) I don´t really exactly know the difference between the two.  I grew up eating both, in New Orleans and in Mexico, and well, they just kind of blend together in my mind.  I know paella has clams and is usually yellow-er, where as I´ve never seen a jambalaya with clams, and I think it almost always has tomatoes, making it redder.  But heck.  Other than that, they´re both rice dishes with chicken and shrimp, right?  And I didn´t even have shrimp when I made this, so I added chorizo and bacon to the mix.  Ahh whatever, call it what you will.  Wikipedia says jambalaya has it´s roots in Spanish paella, which–given the history of Louisiana–would make sense.

I´ve told you about how hard it´s been to find good chorizo, but I came up with this recipe when the chorizo was plentiful.  You can substitute it for any other sausage, no worries.  This dish is pretty easy, and delicious, as always.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 2 chorizo links (or any other delicious sausage)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, chipotle seasoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Optional: 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • Optional: 1 lb medium shrimp

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Fry up the bacon.  Once it´s about halfway cooked, add in the chorizo.  Remember, if you have good chorizo, it´ll be crumbly once you cut the casing off.  If you´re stuck with terrible chorizo because you haven´t been to Mexico recently, you might have to chop it up.  If you don´t have chorizo, I guess you can substitute in any other delicious sausage.  Do your best.  Let these two cook and release flavorful fat.  Yum.  You can drain a little of the fat if you have a lot, but don´t get rid of all of it.
  2. Add onions and garlic.  Sautee until translucent and aromatic.
  3. Add chicken cubes.  After about 2 minutes, flip the cubes so they seal evenly on all sides.  Season with pepper and paprika.
  4. Add rice and sautee it.  Let it soak in those flavors.
  5. Add can of diced tomatoes.  If you have shrimp, add those now.
  6. Pour in chicken stock.  Mix everything gently so that everything is covered by the stock.
  7. Cover and lower heat to medium low.
  8. Let cook for 25 minutes without opening the lid!

ENJOY!

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Honey Sriracha Shrimp and Bacon and Grits

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Honey Sriracha Shrimp and Bacon and Grits

Yummm!  This is one of my favorite dishes!  And it´s pretty easy, too–yum yum yum.  Before I married Michael, I never ate or cooked with sriracha at all.  I´m kind of a disgrace to my Mexican/New Orleanian family because I don´t really like very spicy food.  Because of this, I had avoided sriracha most of my life.  I had only ever having seen it at pho restaurants, anyway, and I know exactly how I like my pho–no use messing with a good thing.

Well!  As it turns out, sriracha is delicious.  It´s not just generic spicy like Tabasco is, it´s got a wonderful flavor.  It´s peppery and garlicky and vinegary and very rich.  A few months ago there was a rumor that the sriracha factory outside of Los Angeles might shut down.  Apparently the residents in the community were complaining about the fumes, but then the sriracha people reworked their ventilation system, and all was well.  Apparently the factory has even become a bit of a tourist attraction now.  Anyway, during that intermediate period, people were afraid that there would be no more sriracha, and in fact, Walmart ran out of it briefly.  Our household (that is, my husband) was in a panic.  And then one day, I received an email that seemed to be heaven-sent!  World Market had sriracha!  I rushed over there on my lunch break and got several extra large bottles for us to keep.  I also discovered this lovely sriracha mayo they carry.  (This became Michael´s favorite sandwich condiment.)

This is the email I got from World Market

And so, due to the abundance of this fine sauce in our tiny house, I´ve started becoming creative with its usage.  I remembered seeing this Martha Stewart recipe, and decided to modify it a bit and give those flavors a spin.  I came up with Honey Sriracha Shrimp and Bacon and Grits–and it´s become a household favorite.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 6 strips of bacon*
  • pinch of garlic
  • 5 tbsp sriracha
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup cream cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro
  • 2 servings grits
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Peel your shrimp.  If you´ve got some extra time on your hands, butterfly them.  They look prettier this way.
  2. Cut bacon into little pieces.  I use scissors and cut them into tiny strips, about 1/2 inch long.
  3. Heat skillet over medium high heat, spread bacon pieces evenly on skillet to ensure even cooking.  Cook bacon til pretty crispy, about two minutes per side.
  4. Move bacon to the edge of the skillet, add shrimp.  Let the shrimp soak in the bacon flavor.  They cook pretty quickly, so keep a good eye on them.
  5. After about two minutes of sautéing the shrimp in the bacon grease, use a slotted spoon to get the shrimp and the bacon out of there.  I let it all drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  6. Pour out most of the excess bacon grease, leaving just a little to coat the skillet.
  7. Sautee garlic until fragrant.  Add sriracha and honey and stir.  Add 1/4 cup cream cheese to thicken consistency of sauce.
  8. Add salt, pepper, cilantro to taste.
  9. Lower stove heat to medium.  Add shrimp and bacon back in to sauce, stir to coat.

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ABOUT THE GRITS:

Make them however you like.  I used to use instant grits until Michael found out, now he makes me make real “old-fashioned” grits the slow way, swearing he can taste the difference.  Whatever.  I think they taste the same.  However you make your grits, though, add salt, pepper and butter, for sure–but (this is my super secretI always add a little cream cheese here, too.  It makes them creamier and generally more delicious.  For two servings of grits, I add 1 tbsp of butter and 1/8 cup cream cheese.

Serve saucy shrimp and bacon over grits and enjoy!

I made some GREEN BEANS on the side.  I drain a can of green beans and heat them in a little melted bacon fat.  Add Tony´s and some hummus (I feel like this is another of my super secrets), mix it all around, and flavorful, easy green beans result!

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*About the bacon:  Before I got married, I never really ate bacon, either.  But then Michael talked me into buying some normal bacon, and then our friend from high school started his own gourmet bacon delivery company, and well, I´m hooked.  The real story is that he was a lawyer and hated it, so he quit his job and road-tripped across the country, buying local butchers´ bacon and mailing it to his subscribers.  It´s been great.  He´s on hiatus now, but will be accepting new orders soon–I highly recommend this.