by Kate Vaynshteyn (www.babaganosh.org)

Down in New Orleans, February is a big month for one big reason: Mardi Gras! Translated in in French to “Fat Tuesday”, this massive holiday is an all-out celebration with origins of eating your last meal of richer foods before fasting before Lent leading up to Easter.

While the big gathering on Bourbon Street may be a little more about partying than eating, we always enjoy celebrating in our own way in our kitchen by cooking up some of our favorite and most delicious French and Cajun recipes! This year, we had the hankering for some jambalaya!

Our recipe developer Kate really wanted to pay tribute to this amazing creole recipe, so she decided to put together a truly classic recipe using chicken, sausage, shrimp, and of course plump and delicious Randall Beans kidney beans as the all-stars in this recipe.

However, what’s jambalaya without some veggies to go with the protein? This recipe is loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, scallions, and even some okra for flavor and texture.

The absolutely amazing and tasty aromas and flavors this recipe creates while it cooks will make your friends and family think you have been slaving over it all day. But here’s a little secret only you need to know: this recipe can be ready to serve in under an hour!

The reason it is so easy to prepare is because this is truly a one-pot meal. From cooking the chicken and shrimp, to sautéing the veggies, to cooking the rice, it can all be done in the same pot.

From prep to table in under an hour, this recipe is also great for feeding a crowd! These listed ingredients are enough to make 8 to 10 servings.

How are you going to celebrate Mardi Gras? We suggest celebrating with us by trying this recipe for yourself!

Kidney Bean Jambalaya

Kidney Bean Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. chicken, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 + 2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning (or less, depending on your spice preference), divided
  • ½ + ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. sausage, sliced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • ½ lb. okra, ends removed and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 24oz. jar Randall Beans Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large 8-quart soup pot. Add the diced chicken, 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir, then cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, or until the chicken starts to brown.
  2. Add the sliced sausage, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the pot and set aside in a heat-proof bowl or large plate.
  3. Add the rest of the olive oil (2 tablespoons) to the pot and the chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped bell pepper, and chopped celery. Add the rest of the Cajun seasoning (2 tablespoons), stir, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the chicken and sausage back to the pot. Add the whole can of diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 quart chicken stock, and 4 cups water. Stir. Add the uncooked rice and stir.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure that the bottom doesn’t burn. Stir in the okra and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and kidney beans and continue cooking until the shrimp and the rice are fully cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and garnish with chopped scallions.
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This rich and hearty jambalaya isn’t just ideal for celebrating Mardi Gras in your kitchen, but this is also the perfect dish for some warm and hearty goodness to enjoy during the winter. For more recipes like this, be sure not to leave without getting your own copy of our free cookbook, Crock Pot Classics. This collection is loaded with hot and easy to prepare meals that are perfect for winter, fall, and honestly all year long!

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