Two Rivals Join Forces

My husband has had a thing for Jambalaya for quite some time now. But sometimes he cheats on his great love and goes out with Risotto. What’s a guy to do when he’s torn between two (or three) loves?

But those days are over, now that I’ve brought these two rivals together by creating Jambalaya Risotto just for him. (It’s easier to keep my eye on them this way.) His days of sneaking around are over—hopefully!

 Jambalaya Risotto

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (or 3 small shallots)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • ½ cup wine or verjus
  • 1 900 ml box of chicken stock, plus 1.5 cups hot water
  • ¾ cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • ½ pound shrimp (deveined, precooked, tails removed)
  • 3 large andouille sausages (or 4 small sausages/see tips)
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne

In a large sauté pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook chicken for 10 minutes per side and remove from pan and slice into small pieces. Add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and cook sausage for 8 minutes per side. Remove from pan and slice. (You can sauté the sliced sausage for 2 minutes to brown each piece nicely.)

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat and cook onion, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, another 2 minutes. Add green pepper and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Add thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine (or verjus) and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, chicken breast and sausage and mix well. Stir 1 cup simmering broth into rice and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. Add shrimp when you have approximately 1 cup of broth remaining. Continue adding broth until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente. (Total time about 18 to 22 minutes.)

Tips

  • Andouille sausage can be tricky to find. I buy mine at the Sausage King in St. Lawrence Market. You can substitute with kielbasa or italian sausage.
  • You can use uncooked shrimp–I use precooked as a short cut. Just be sure to add them to the rice 4 or so minutes before the rice is cooked to ensure they cook through.
  • You’ll note that I used red pepper in my photographed version. I had a red pepper in the house that I needed to use up. However, the green pepper adds a nice contrast to the tomatoes.
  • If you use canned tomatoes, you can freeze the leftovers for your next batch of pasta sauce.
  • I hold back on the spice for this because of our ponytails. You can take it up a notch by adding a little more cayenne.
  • Garnish with parsley or chives. I normally do this, but was a bit stretched for time this round.