It Was Savannah, Not New Orleans
The other night Wolf and I were watching House of Cards and talking about Kevin Spacey. We’re doling out the episodes, one per evening rather than gorging on the whole season. When was it that Kevin Spacey broke out? We reckoned it was the trifecta of The Ref, Usual Suspects and Swimming with Sharks that really put him on the map. Two years later, in 1997, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil came out. Now I admit, I haven’t seen this film in years, and really all I could remember about it was that it was set in New Orleans. So I looked it up on IMDB and I haven’t stopped laughing since. Look at that ‘stache!
It turns out Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was set in Savannah, not New Orleans. Quirky characters walking invisible dogs, antebellum architecture, wrought iron gates, seersucker suits, you can see how my memory might have interchanged the cities after so long. Did my entire opening just get blown up? Well, whatever. We’re still having One Pot Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage.
This jambalaya has been in our regular rotation for more than a decade. And for good reason. This dish hits all the right notes — protein, a little veg and rice in a single pot with just enough spice to make it interesting. There is no seafood in this jambalaya. Although the ingredient list starts to look pretty similar to my go-to Red Beans and Rice recipe, if you just need to get dinner on the table and you’ve got 30-40 minutes, not hours, this is the one you want.
A word about the sausage. Andouille is typically made with pork, but I use Aidell’s Chicken Andouille. Trader Joe’s also carries a tasty one, but it’s incredibly high in sodium – 900+mg per link high. The sausage itself is bringing plenty of flavor to the equation, so if you opt to make this vegetarian and use canned kidney or red beans in place of the sausage, you’ll need to add a little extra Cajun spice. Over the years, I’ve sometimes dialed back the sausage a bit and added shredded chicken to the mix.
This jambalaya is best served with the Lee Brothers’ Tuesday Collards.
- 1 12oz. package chicken andouille sausage, links cut on the bias (if using full links, cut into ½ inch pieces, on the bias)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced (~ 1 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced (~ 1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery, diced (optional)
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
- ⅔ c. white basmati (or other long grain) rice
- 1⅓ c. chicken broth
- ¾ t. dried thyme
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper
- 1 small bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl olive oil around the pan, then add onion, bell pepper and celery, if using. Cook until the onions are becoming translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Push the vegetables over to one side of the pan and add the sausage. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the sausage, careful not to burn the veg on the other side of the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium, then stir in the rice and cook for a minute just until it starts to smell slightly nutty.
- Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, cayenne and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 18-20 minutes until the broth is absorbed and rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.