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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Add onions and garlic. Sautee until translucent and aromatic.
- Add chicken cubes. After about 2 minutes, flip the cubes so they seal evenly on all sides. Season with pepper and paprika.
- Add rice and sautee it. Let it soak in those flavors.
- Add can of diced tomatoes. If you have shrimp, add those now.
- Pour in chicken stock. Mix everything gently so that everything is covered by the stock.
- Cover and lower heat to medium low.
- Let cook for 25 minutes without opening the lid!
Growing up in my household, Sunday mornings meant Huevitos Mexicanitos. This translates as “Little Mexican eggs” and as I grew older I learned they were our family’s version of Huevos Rancheros. I think everyone has their own version of Huevos Rancheros, with variations, but this is how we make them. They’re easy and delicious and remeniscent of happy Sunday mornings.
Nowadays I make them several times a week because my husband is very much a breakfast-eater and these are quick and easy.
HERE´S WHAT YOU NEED:
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Tortilla–traditionally corn but I prefer flour
- Cold cuts: sliced ham, turkey, or maybe even chicken
- Salt and Pepper or Tony’s
- Chunky salsa
HERE´S WHAT YOU DO:
- Heat skillet over medium high heat, once warm, pour in a quarter inch of oil and let it get hot. Do not put oil in a cold skillet!
- Submerge tortilla. After about 30-60 seconds, flip it to the other side. Let it fry for another 30-60 seconds. Take tortilla out with tongs and rest it on paper towels.
- Crack open two or three eggs (or as many as you like) into the same hot oil. Turn down to medium heat.
- While eggs are cooking, move tortilla to plate, cover tortilla with thin layer of cold cuts. I prefer ham. Michael prefers turkey. Doesn´t matter.
- The eggs should be getting crispy around the edges. This makes for optimal deliciousness. Use spatula to splash hot oil onto the tops of the eggs so that all the whites become opaque and so that a thin layer forms over the yolks.
- Carefully slide spatula under eggs, place them on the tortilla. Pat gently with paper towel to absorb extra oil.
- Sprinkle a little salt and pepper or Tony’s over the yolks.
- Top with chunky salsa.
I like to serve refried black beans on the side. BUT HERE´S THE THING ABOUT THE BEANS. My mom always refried the beans in chorizo. The problem is finding good chorizo. I go to Mexico at least once a year–usually in January, and try to bring home a year’s supply of chorizo. Invariably, we run out by about March or April. And then I’m sad for the rest of the year because of my lack of chorizo.
Recently, I found some at our local Rouses that didn’t look good, but looked passable. It´s Johnsonville brand and who knows where the heck that is. But, previously, I had only ever been able to find this tube chorizo that really creeps me out (see left) because I never trust meat that is packaged in such a way that the meat cannot be seen.
Anyway, I found this new chorizo and well, it was okay. I could tell it was okay because I could cut the casing off pretty easily. And the meat was pretty crumbly when I cooked it. These are the signs of decent chorizo. I just hope January comes quickly! We’re getting a little desperate around here.