Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is the last day of a celebratory season called Carnival.  It also coincides with Ash Wednesday – which means a day of fasting for many religions.  What does this mean to us?  Of course – an excuse to eat!

The most well-known Mardi Gras celebration occurs in New Orleans where Jambalaya is a must have dish. There are actually two types of jambalaya: the traditional Cajun “brown” jambalaya, and Creole-style red jambalaya made with tomatoes. Because we have canned tomatoes from last year’s garden sitting in our canning pantry, I typically make the creole version.  I also made this dish using spicy chicken sausage rather than pork sausage, which adds the perfect amount of heat to this recipe. However, feel free to substitute whichever sausage you prefer.

And as a side note — In other regions, this day is also known as Shrove Tuesday -aka Pancake Day.  So why not enjoy some homemade pancakes in the morning (see How to Make Your Own Dry Pancake Mix) and Jambalaya for dinner.  Hmmmm – what to have for lunch???

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

Chicken sausage can easily be found at most grocery stores
Chicken sausage can easily be found at most grocery stores
Adding both white and dark meat adds to the depth of flavor to your dish
Adding both white and dark meat adds to the depth of flavor to your dish
Saute your diced peppers and onions to bring out the flavors before adding it to the crockpot
Saute your diced peppers and onions to bring out the flavors before adding it to the crockpot
Add the shrimp at the end to allow the texture of the shrimp to remain intact.
Add the shrimp at the end to allow the texture of the shrimp to remain intact.
Combine the jambalaya with the rice and garnish with parsley.
Combine the jambalaya with the rice and garnish with parsley.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces $
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces chicken sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (optional)
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with onion and green peppers, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Fresh parsley leaves (optional – for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan and when hot add chicken; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to crock pot.

2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.

3. Add onion mixture, chicken sausage, creole, thyme, paprika, tomatoes, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.

4. Cook rice according to package directions. Add cooked rice and remaining ingredients except the parsley garnish to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces $
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 ounces chicken sausage halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika optional
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with onion and green peppers, undrained
  • 1 14-ounce can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Fresh parsley leaves optional - for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan and when hot add chicken; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to crock pot.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add onion mixture, chicken sausage, creole, thyme, paprika, tomatoes, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.
  4. Cook rice according to package directions. Add cooked rice and remaining ingredients except the parsley garnish to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until shrimp are done.
  5. Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

 

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