Holiday Favorites

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”

by Shawnda on February 13, 2015

in Cajun,Cauliflower,Chicken & Poultry,Mardi Gras,Pork

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

Let the good times roll, y’all!

It’s not Fat Tuesday yet but don’t let that stop you. I sure as heck didn’t let it stop me from whipping up a monster pot of chicken and sausage jambalaya. I found it to be the perfect opportunity to try out cauliflower “rice” on the family.

Their verdict? Well, they did let me live to share the recipe. Soo…

Mom: MMMMmmmm
Jason: It’s a little different. And it doesn’t taste much like cauliflower. [That is a win from him.]
Landry: I NEED SOME MILK! [I’ll return my Mother of the Year trophy, stat.]

I never know where to draw the line with her. Because this is the same little girl who took snagged a serrano pepper straight off the plant and took a bite out of it and had absolutely no reaction. None. ZERO.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

So cauliflower rice is not rice at all. It’s fresh cauliflower florets that have taken a ~15 second low-speed spin through the food processor so that the size and appearance looks rice-ish. But the flavor? All cauliflower.

I happen to adore cauliflower (Exhibits A and B. And C.). I can actually remember the first time I ever ate raw cauliflower: it was the summer after my freshman year in high school (because cauliflower didn’t come in a can), and it was served like we serve every other veggie down here in Texas: with half a squeeze bottle of ranch dressing.

Raw cauliflower can be pretty strong and cooking it will really help reign-in the flavor. And cooking it in a big pot with caramelized vegetables, sausage, chicken, garlic, and bay leaves? The cauliflower is mostly masked by the stronger flavors of the jambalaya.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

The one real difference between the original recipe and the cauliflower version is the amount of liquid you’ll use at the end of the recipe. The original recipe adds a bunch of chicken stock and water, which the rice would then absorb. With the cauliflower, you’ll only add as much chicken stock as you need to reach the consistency you’re looking for. Where I’m from, the jambalaya isn’t overly soupy so I tried to add as little as possible but as you can see, I did have some standing liquid.

Enjoy it. We sure did. It is a little different but it is every bit as delicious as a more traditional rice version.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower "Rice"

Hearty chicken and sausage jambalaya made with cauliflower "rice."

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive or your cooking oil of choice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions, dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne/red pepper
  • 1lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning*
  • 1 1/2lb chicken, cut into 1-in cubes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, sliced into florets (will make 3-4 rounded cups of "rice")
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • *Tony's has salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, onion, and at least oregano. If you can't find it, season the chicken with at least salt and pepper before adding it.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, white and light green parts of the bunch of green onions, salt, and cayenne. Stirring often and keeping the lid ajar, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes.
  3. Scrape the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often and keeping the lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles.
  4. Season the chicken with Tony Chachere's.
  5. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, add the florets to the bowl of a food processor. Chop on low for 15-20 seconds, until the cauliflower is small and resembles rice.
  7. Add the cauliflower and 1 cup chicken stock.
  8. Cook and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times, until all of the cauliflower has softened. If necessary, add additional chicken stock (I tried to add as little as possible so I wouldn't have a ton of standing liquid).
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the dark green onions and serve.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Estimated time: 1 hour

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It’s December and, around here, that means my weekends are packed solid with get-togethers with friends, more friends, fringe friends I see once a year at these parties, and family. It also means goodies abound! And if those goodies aren’t loaded with tequila, butter, or sugar, then you know what that means:

Bacon. And cheese.

Because ’tis the season, y’all.

Next week, I join some fabulous bloggers and we’ll be talking recipes, tips, entertaining ideas – and while I cannot speak for the other bloggers, at least I will be talking about bacon :) for the #HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party!

Monday – Table Decor by Handmade Mood
Tuesday – Drinks & Wine by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine
Wednesday – Appetizers by me!
Thursday – Main Course by A Zesty Bite
Friday – Desserts by The Baking Fairy

You, too, can join in the delicious fun and be entered to win a $100 HEB Gift Card and a $50 Prize Pack! Here’s how it works:
1. Instagram a photo each day of your favorite holiday dish, drink, and/or decor.
2. Include the hashtag #HEBJoyvilleSweeps
3. Tag @HEB.

Easy enough, right? And one winner will be chosen each day!

Be sure to give a follow on Pinterest as we’ll be curating our favorite holiday dishes and decor ideas throughout the week!

Happy Friday! And bacon.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from H-E-B for my time and participation in the H-E-B Virtual Progressive Dinner. Although we have material connection to H-E-B, any publicly stated opinions of H-E-B and their brands remain my own.

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Roasted Pecan and Chorizo Dressing

This year, I decided to make two different dressings at Thanksgiving: next to the Roasted Jalapeno & Cheddar Cornbread dressing will sit this beauty. Because nothing says “I am thankful” to your loved ones like pushing multiple vats of carbs on them like it’s meth.

When my daughter came home from a weekend away at Gram’s house with two bags of pecans from their trees, I decided our favorite dressing would go ahead and make an appearance at Thanksgiving, but not before getting a Texas makeover.

Out with the roasted chestnuts and sausage, in with roasted Texas pecans and chorizo.

Roasted Pecan and Chorizo Dressing

Chorizo is a Mexican sausage that’s spiced with cumin, chile powder, garlic, and oregano among other things. It’s a staple around here for breakfast tacos and it adds a delicious twist to what is already The World’s Greatest Thanksgiving Dressing.

If we don’t speak before Thursday, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! And don’t forget to enter this week’s My Favorite Things Holiday giveaway. I’ll be back next week with my contributions to a progressive holiday dinner. SO much fun!

Roasted Pecan and Chorizo Dressing

I should really go clean now. Because nobody judges dusty baseboards and a missed splatter on a kitchen floor tile quite like family.

Roasted Pecan and Chorizo Dressing

A Texas twist on the classic holiday dressing with chorizo and roasted pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch sage leaves
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ~1.5 lb loaf bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (enough to fill a 9x13 dish; I used a mixture of sourdough and multigrain)
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread pecans on top; cook for ~7 minutes until browned and fragrant.
  3. Butter or spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Place the pecans and bread cubes into a very large bowl (or 2 not-so-large bowls - you need room to toss the bread with the other ingredients).
  5. In a food processor puree the carrot, onions, celery, sage, parsley, bell pepper, and garlic until you have a fine pulp.
  6. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage to the pan, cooking through about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and place in the bowl with the bread
  8. Add the vegetable pulp to the pan and saute until most of the moisture has evaporated.
  9. Season liberally with salt and pepper and transfer to the bread bowl.
  10. Whisk together chicken stock, cream, and eggs. Pour over the bread and toss to mix and coat well.
  11. Transfer dressing into the prepared dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the top.

Notes

Yields: ~12 servings

Adapted from Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Dressing

Estimated time: 1 hour

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