Make the Best Protein-Loaded Cold Weather Feast

When did chili become king of cold-weather meals? If there were ever a rematch, I’d put my money on jambalaya. The pot-of-good has everything a man needs on a frosty day: substance, spice, and smoked pork sausage.

This particular version, from legendary New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, is even heartier than most. It’s a vehicle for four different proteins: shrimp, Andouille sausage, chicken, and tasso, a smoked seasoned ham. That combo, sizzling in bacon fat and the blend of spices you’ll only find in Creole- and Cajun-style cooking, is one of Louisiana’s many gifts to the world.

And for a meal so flavorful, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare. In fact, you can make it all in one pot and it cooks in about an hour. If you can’t find tasso ham, just ask the guy at your deli counter for a half-inch slice of Black Forest or another smoked ham.

A batch serves eight, so it’s perfect to feed the crew on game day—or even for more civilized company. But I won’t blame you if you want to keep it to yourself for killer meals all week long. A second (or third, or fourth…) helping is all but inevitable.

Chicken, Andouille, and Tasso Jambalaya

Recipe by Paul Prudhomme, chef/owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen

What you’ll need:
1½ Tbsp chicken or beef fat, pork lard, butter, or oil
2/3 cup chopped tasso (about 3 oz)
1 cup chopped Andouille smoked sausage (about 6 oz)
1½ cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped green bell peppers
1½ cups bite-size pieces chicken (about 8 oz)
2 Tbsp Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic® seasoning blend
2 bay leaves
1½ tsp minced garlic
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 lb)
¾ cup tomato sauce
2 cups seafood stock
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups uncooked rice
1 dozen peeled medium shrimp (about ½ pound)

How to make it:

  1. In a large ovenproof pot over medium heat, heat the fat. Add the tasso and sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the vegetables are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly browned, about 3 minutes Reduce the heat to medium and add the seasoning blend, bay leaves, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot as needed, until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the tomato sauce to the pot and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until well mixed, about 7 minutes. Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, and then stir in the green onions. Cook, stirring once or twice, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and shrimp and remove from the heat. Bake at 350oF, covered, until the rice is tender but still chewy, about 20-25 minutes.

  3. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.