At our farmer's market over the weekend we picked up a pack of chorizo sausages from our local vendor. So far all of their products have been really good, but I hadn't had the chorizo yet. I wasn't sure what I would make and just tossed them in the freezer for the time being. As I planned out what to make for the next few days I had two things in mind. Use the chorizo and make something I could have leftovers for lunch. As the weather continued to cool down, I was craving something spicy, warm and filling. Jambalaya! Now, traditionally, jambalaya used Andouille sausage, not chorizo. There are also a million ways to direct your jambalaya from there. I wasn't concerned. Chorizo was gonna work for me! Oh, and forgive me Cajun spirits. My trinity didn't include celery--I forgot to get some! I subbed in some ground celery seed, crossed myself and said a prayer instead.
I sort of made my jambalaya up as I went along. I started by cooking the sausages. I choose to keep them in their casing and cook them whole. I thought about removing the casing and crumbling the meat up, but I wanted bigger chunks of meat. I'm pleased with the direction I went. Cooking the sausages first renders out some of their fat, which I then used to cook the rest of the ingredients.
After remove the sausages from the pot, I sauted chunks of diced chicken. When that was cooked through, I removed it and moved on to the onions and garlic. I had to cross myself again here, as I didn't follow the true trinity! The peppers. I'll tell you more in a minute. While the onions were cooking, I moved on to spices. I used about a TB of cajun seasoning and 1 tsp of ground celery seed, 1/4 tsp of chipotle chile and chimayo chile for some heat. I also added a TB of Beau Monde seasoning. I dropped in a full bay leaf as well. I returned the chicken and sausages to the pot and poured in a 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes and 4 cups of chicken stock. Carefully stir in 1 cup of uncooked rice. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to barely a bubble. At this point I added the peppers-diced green and red. I do this so the peppers don't cook too far and become mushy. I like them to still have some texture and be "just soft." In the past, if I saute them with the onions and celery (when I have it), they almost become too mushy for me.
Cook slowly until the rice is just cooked through. If you want to use shrimp or other seafood in your jambalaya, now is the time to add it. The residual heat will cook the tender morsels, without over cooking them.
Turn the heat off. I let my jambalaya sit for a few minutes before serving. The rice continues to absorb liquid and flavor.
Serve hot, in large bowls with large spoons! Enjoy.