Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Football Tailgating Recipe

In 2006 when I was doing research for a Football Tailgating Party Chapter for Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket, I was lucky enough to discover the website of Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating. He says, “Tailgating is the last great American neighborhood, the tailgating neighborhood, where no one locks their doors, everyone is happy to see you and all are together sharing fun, food and football.”

Joe not only granted me a telephone interview (he lives in New Orleans) but generously shared his recipe for the Jambalaya he brings with him as he travels to football stadiums across the country. Oh, along with the pot of Jambalaya, he also brings his cat “and navigator” Sophie and a 40-foot motor coach. What fun.

For all the football tailgating fans as well as the couch potato football fans, I am happy to share Joe’s recipe:

Joe’s Jambalaya

“This is my favorite recipe because you can put just about anything in it. If it walks, crawls, swims or flies, it can be thrown into Jambalaya. Everything goes into one pot so clean-up’s a breeze.”

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs. Sausage cut in 1/4 inch slices
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
5 cups chicken stock or water flavored with chicken bouillon
1 tbs. minced garlic
4 cups long grain rice
2 tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet (browning agent)
2 tbsp. seasoning salt
2 cups chopped green onions

•Season chicken with salt and pepper; brown in hot oil in 8 quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat.
•Add sausage; cook 5 to 7 minutes.
•Remove chicken and sausage from pan; set aside.
•Add onions, celery, green peppers and garlic; cook, stirring 7—10 minutes or until vegetables begin to wilt.
•Stir in chicken stock, reserved chicken and sausage, seasoning salt and Kitchen Bouquet. Bring to a boil.
•Add rice and return to a boil.
•Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
•Cook 10 minutes; remove cover and quickly turn rice from top to bottom completely.
•Replace cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
•Stir in green onions.
•Serves 12-15.

For brown jambalaya, add 1 heaping tbsp. brown sugar to hot oil and caramelize, or make a roux, or use Kitchen Bouquet. For red jambalaya, add approximately 1/4 cup paprika or use 1/2 stock and 1/2 tomato juice or V-8 for your liquid. For seafood jambalaya, add cooked seafood when rice is cooked.
If using an electric stove, reduce cooking time by 3-4 minutes.

Four Tips:
•Use 1 cup of rice for every 2 cups of vegetables (onion, celery, bell pepper)
•Use 1-1/4 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of uncooked rice
•1 cup of uncooked rice will make 3 cups of cooked rice, season accordingly
•Cook jambalaya for a total of 25 to 30 minutes, stirring well after 10 minutes

Happy Tailgating and Happy Thanksgiving.