Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Italian Jambalaya

I realize it's been a long time since I've posted a new recipe, but that's only because I want to provide you with only the best of my work (and I'm just not much of a summer cook...let's just say I've ODed on BBQ food).  Luckily I got my groove back when I had some leftovers from our (FINAL) cookout that I needed to use up.  We had some Italian sausage and chicken breast left over from Labor Day, so I decided to come up with something creative to rid my refrigerator of all of it at once and get B and I through most of the week.  I originally wanted to make jambalaya, but B insisted he hates jambalaya (I'm calling his bluff on that, by the way) and insisted I throw everything together with some pasta and marinara sauce, which I am very tired of at the moment.  Rather than overruling him and being a culinary dictator (even though I was the one doing all the work), I decided to be creative and come up with a compromise that incorporated both of our ideas.  I came with an Italian-style "jambalaya," with orzo subbing in for rice and the tomato base filling B's request for a red sauce.  I have to say I was quite pleased with 1- my ingenuity and 2- my benevolence.  Hey, I could have totally overruled him and made him eat whatever I cooked.  Instead I took the high road.  I'm going to be such a good wife!  (BTW, I feel like a giggly teenage girl referring to myself as a future wife...wonder when the reality of that is actually going to kick in?)  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the result of my good wife-practicing exercise, I know I did!  (B secretly did too, even though he won't admit it and insists he still would have rather had boring old pasta and red sauce...someone's going to have to clue him in on the "tell your wife whatever she makes you is delicious so you don't starve" rule before we get married).   

Italian Jambalaya
Makes 6-8 servings
extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cubed
2 Italian sausages, cut into bite size rounds
2 red bell peppers, bite-size chunks
1 green bell pepper, bite-size chunks
1 vidalia onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes and juice
1/2 tsp each of oregano, basil, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 box orzo

Begin by heating about 1/4 cup of EVOO in a dutch oven pan on medium to medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken and sausage, then remove from pan and set aside.  Saute the peppers and onion in the pan, adding a little more oil if the pan is dry.  Saute until onions are translucent, then add in the garlic and herbs and reduce heat to medium.  Saute for a few minutes, then add in the chicken, sausage, tomatoes, chicken broth, and white wine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cook for at least an hour.  About half an hour before serving, cook the orzo according to the directions on the box.  Drain, then add to the jambalaya.  It's best to let it cook for a few more minutes so the orzo absorbs the flavor of the sauce.  Remove from heat and serve with a crusty bread and top with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired. 

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