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!