MAKES ABOUT 12 CUPS; 8 SERVINGS OR 16 PORTIONS
Though Jambalaya most often uses smoked sausage or ham, I use turkey smoked sausage or turkey kielbasa. If you’re not familiar with it, kielbasa is a Polish smoked sausage. In a dish like this, it tastes very similar to American smoked sausage. The varieties I use have only 3 grams of fat for 2 ounces and taste great (see page 17). You’d never guess they’re as light as they are. Always check labels; a few brands of turkey smoked sausage have much more fat.
It’s important to have all of your ingredients measured before you start cooking this recipe, or it won’t be quite as easy as it really is.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, visible fat removed, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (about 4 medium cloves)
1 1/2 cups converted long-grain white rice, uncooked
3/4 pound extra-lean smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa (3 grams of fat or less per 2-ounce serving), sliced on a diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ancho chile pepper (see page 15)
Two 14.5-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 large dried bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste, if desired
One 14.5-ounce can fat-free or 98% fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (not low-sodium)
1 1/4 pounds large (21–25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1. Combine the chicken and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
2. Place a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Put in 11/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just tender but not browning, 10 to 13 minutes. Remove the veggies and set them aside.
3. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put another 11/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and the rice in the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is just starting to brown lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a separate bowl from the veggies. Set aside.
4. Turn the heat to high. When the pan is hot, put in the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, about 2 minutes per side, until the outsides are browned in spots. Push the chicken to the outer edges and add the sausage. Cook the sausage, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the veggies back to the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, the oregano, and the ancho chile pepper. Stir until well combined. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes, including the juice, the bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Then add the chicken broth and turn the heat to high. When the liquid comes to a full boil, stir in the rice.
6. When it returns to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer until the rice is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid, 35 to 45 minutes.
7. About 5 minutes before it’s cooked, stir in the shrimp and continue cooking, covered, for 5 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves. Season with cayenne to taste, if desired. Serve immediately.
CREDIT: Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER! Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.