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Jambalaya is best just after cooking, but it can be kept covered in a low oven (200°F) for a couple of hours. Leftovers should be reheated in small batches in the microwave. To complete the meal, serve it with cornbread and coleslaw.

JANUARY 6, 2010

The Big Easy
Warm up a crowd on chilly winter nights with this basic yet delicious bayou dish from the chefs at The Glass Onion


With temperatures continuing to drop, hunkering down with a cozy helping of communal comfort food seems just the ticket to a warm and welcome weekend. For a thrifty way to dish out supper for friends or gather folks for the playoffs, The Glass Onion chefs Sarah O’Kelly, Charles Vincent, and Chris Stewart deliver a hearty jambalaya recipe that’s sure to please foodies and French-onion dippers alike.

“Without seafood, this chicken and sausage jambalaya is considered a poor man’s version of the traditional Cajun stew,” explains Birmingham native Chris, who recommends brining the chicken to lock in moisture and season the bird. Sarah also explains that this dish isn’t altogether spicy. That’s a misconception about Cajun food,” she says, noting that real Andouille sausage will add some heat, but making the jambalaya extremely spicy masks the flavor. “Instead, put a selection of hot sauces out on the table and let folks determine their own degree. We like Tabasco, Crystal, and Bulliard’s—all are Louisiana favorites made with cayenne peppers.”

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya
(Serves 8)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 lbs. Andouille or smoked sausage, diced
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbs. minced garlic
4-lb. all-natural chicken, brined and roasted (see following recipe)
1 qt. chicken stock or store-bought broth
28-oz. can of tomatoes
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs. hot sauce, plus more to taste
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbs. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cups raw converted rice
1 bunch of green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large, oven-safe pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add sausage and cook five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until beginning to soften, about five minutes. Add next 11 ingredients. Stir to combine. When mixture comes to a simmer, add rice, cover, and place pot in oven. Cook for about one hour, or until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender. Remove from oven.

Add green onions and stir to thoroughly combine. Add more seasoning to taste.

For the Brined & Roasted Chicken:
1 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 gal. water
4-lb. all-natural chicken, rinsed with cold water
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine one cup salt and water in a large pot and simmer until salt dissolves. Remove from heat, allow to cool. Add chicken. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or up to one day.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove chicken from brine. Pat dry and season. Place in roasting pan and cook on middle rack for 90 minutes, or until instant-read thermometer inserted in thigh reads 165°F. Cool, then pull meat from bones, discarding fat and skin.

To read the full story and get recipes for The Glass Onion’s coleslaw and cornbread, click here.

To see a review of The Glass Onion, click here.

For more on the West Ashley eatery, click here.


Wed, 01/06/2010