No one who has ever set foot below the Mason-Dixon line would ever dream of calling this Jambalaya. I certainly wouldn’t. My mother-in-law, who lived in Baton Rouge for a time, makes the real deal…but it is just a bit spicy for the younglings.
This is my milded-down version, that the youngling will eat, mostly because bacon is involved.
12 oz pkg bacon, cut crossways into small strips
1/2 large red onion, diced
4-5 stalks celery, diced
3 cups rice
32 oz chicken broth or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 filet cod, diced (optional) (you guessed it, leftovers work well here)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning blend
kosher salt (added at end to taste, if needed)
2 Tbs butter
In a large skillet with well-fitting lid…
melt butter, and add celery with a pinch of salt. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes. Stir in onions, cover and sweat an additional 5 minutes. Remove lid, add bacon and cook uncovered over medium heat until bacon is browned. The celery and onion will be pretty much cooked into oblivion…but you can’t let the kids see there are vegetables in this for goodness’ sake! Stir in fish if used, and sautee for 5 minutes or until fish is largely done. Stir in rice, Old Bay, and garlic powder. Stir and continue to warm rice in meat and seasonings for a few minutes until garlic and old bay become fragrant (photo above). Add chicken broth and water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, do not remove cover, and allow to sit for 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.
This is NOT a lowfat or lipid-friendly dish. It will clog an artery, but you’ll be smiling while it does. If you want to be glycemic friendly, you can use brown rice, but liquid amounts and cooking time will have to be increased accordingly. Even using white rice (medium grain calrose rice is my favorite), the protein and the fiber from the veggies will help bring down the glycemic index a little bit. The good news is that it is very filling, and you may not want a lot of it.