Jambalaya’s Cajun spice will warm your winter soul

Denise Neil
The Wichita Eagle

I know the colder months have me craving different foods, so I want you to cook along with me and try some of the recipes. A warm bowl of jambalaya is all you need to warm your soul.

Cajun food has become a family favorite because of the warm, deep, complex flavors of dishes such as jambalaya. Plus for some reason, Cajun food just feels festive. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’ve heard stories from many people who have about the wild times of

drinking, live music and incredible cuisine.

If Cajun is your jam, grab a

cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven and whip up a batch of this. I have a feeling jambalaya would be a

welcome addition to your winter meal rotation.

Cajun Jambalaya

3/4 pound chicken, cut to small pieces

3/4 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

4 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups rice

3/4 pound shrimp (40-50 count is a good size)

Mix chicken and sausage in a bowl with the Cajun seasoning, making certain that the spice is mixed evenly.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the chicken and sausage until lightly browned. Add garlic to the skillet to soften. Add the Cajun holy trinity — onion, bell pepper and celery — and cook until soft.

Add bay leaves, Worcestershire, hot sauce and chicken stock and then bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat, cooking covered about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Add the shrimp into the pot the last 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.