Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Jambalaya

Based on this low-carb recipe. My quantities made two substantial roasting trays full of food, which was handy, because with two trays I could customise the sauce for our various cauliflower-hating peeps. So one tray was made with rice, as usual, and the other was low-carb, with the rice replaced by grated cauliflower as per the linked recipe.

4 large chicken Maryland portions
250g Spanish chorizo sausages
250g diced ham
2 onions, diced
2 huge cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large green capsicum, diced
2 celery stalks (I didn't have any so I subbed the rest of the green beans in the fridge)
1/2 medium cauliflower
1 cup rice
2 tins tomatoes
2-3 tsp Cajun seasoning

Trim all the manky bits off the chicken portions. If you are a clever person, you will already know that chicken Maryland means "chop the back half of a chook into half again, and leave spine and gristle and horrible squishy bits cunningly hidden at the bottom of the nice tidy packaging to surprise the unwary", and you will have a cleaver ready. If you are not, you will try and do this with kitchen scissors and an inadequate knife, and It Will Not Be Pretty. But when you have finally tidied everything up, remove the skin, brown the chicken in a frying pan and then transfer to the two roasting trays. Chop the chorizo and scatter the sausage chunks and ham all around the chicken portions. Then you should probably refrigerate the trays until the sauce is ready, although I didn't.

Saute all the veges in olive oil and butter until tender (do not do what I did and use the really hot burner and burn the crap out of the onions, okay?). While they are cooking, chop the cauliflower into florets and whizz them in a food processor until they are about as grainy as rice. Don't over-fill the food processor or it will probably turn into mush with lumps in it. I did it in two batches, added the first one to the pan, then realised that Certain People in my house have an irreconcilable hatred of cauliflower. So at that point, I decided to make two different sauces.

I separated the sauteed vegetables into two, leaving as much of the cauliflower as I could in the pan, and put the other half into a pot to wait. Then I added tomatoes and Cajun seasoning to the pan, and about half a cup of water, brought it to the boil, and poured it over one of the trays of chicken. Then I returned the second batch to the pan, added tomatoes and seasonings, about a cup of rice (it may have been more - put in as much as you think will fill up your roasting tray when it's cooked, and add more water if necessary), and two cups of water. When it was hot, I poured it over the second tray and put both into the oven at 180C.

Check the rice after about half an hour and add more water if it needs it. If the rice on the top is going crunchy, stir it around a bit. I baked mine for about an hour, but it's ready whenever the rice is cooked. I served out the rice or cauliflower mixture, then we hacked the chicken off the bones and shared that out. This made enough for three adults, four kids, and one lunch-worth of leftovers. And everyone ate it, or at least some of it, which makes it successful enough to be worth a blog entry.

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