Chicken & Poultry

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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Chicken Zoodle Soup

Hi, my name is Shawnda and I am on day 20-ish of my Whole30-ish.

I’m alive. Ish.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Actually, I’m completely alive. Totally fine. Skin looks ah-mazing. And am at that point where I’m like Bring on the glitter, the cape, and the leggings, bitches, because I am super woman and I can do anything!!!

Well, anything but pull-off leggings as pants. But really, who among us can?

Chicken Zoodle Soup

A couple of weeks ago, I waved my magic laptop and turned a Christmas giftcard into a Spiralizer. I eagerly awaited the arrival of a trendy kitchen gadget that I couldn’t wait to use four times and then shove it in the back of a cabinet. But I have since turned countless zucchini into countless yards of zucchini noodles – zoodles! – for fake pastas and it still sits on my counter.

Zucchini noodles from the spiralizer

I love that thing. But I also really love zucchini (and that’s the extent of plants that I’ve tested on the spiralizer thus far). I grow zucchini every year, until the vine borers get it, mostly because I like coating it in bacon and cheesy goodness. And this will happen with zoodles. Very soon.

It’s already made it into mac & cheese. I’ll have to show you that one soon.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

But for soup & sandwich night (or for me, soup and soup night), I simmered some chicken stock from the freezer with sliced onions, carrots, and minced garlic. During the last 5 minutes, I dropped zoodles and shredded rotisserie chicken into the broth to heat.

Each serving has 3 oz of chicken, an entire zucchini, and 1.5 cups of soup. Hearty, filling, and simple. And another couple of servings of plants checked off for the day!

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Homemade hearty chicken "zoodle" soup made with zucchini noodles.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 medium onions, sliced in very thin half-rounds
  • Handful of baby carrots, sliced into ~1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I aim for ~3 oz per serving)
  • 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut in half vertically

Instructions

  1. Heat chicken stock over medium heat with onions, carrots, and garlic for ~30 minutes, or until the veggies are fork-tender.
  2. Season soup with salt and pepper and parsley.
  3. Run the zucchini halves through the spiralizer to make "noodles." Then give the pile of noodles a couple of chops with a knife so they aren't all 4 feet long.
  4. Add chicken and zucchini to the broth and heat through.

Notes

Yields: 4 generous servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Chicken Pot Pie with Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

If you don’t use goat cheese in – and on – your chicken pot pie, I’d like you to reconsider how you make chicken pot pie.

Although technically this might be considered “Chicken & Biscuits” but let’s not get bogged down in the details. Humor me.

Chicken Pot Pie with Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

The first time I made a completely from-scratch chicken pot recipe ~8 years ago, it took me close to 3 hours. You cooked the chicken at the same time you were making everything else from scratch (the filling and the pastry topping). And while I streamlined the process quite a bit over the years… man, ain’t nobody got time for that.

With all that heavy cream in the filling, it was a total fat- and calorie-bomb. But what really convinced me that all the work was worth it back then: the tangy, tender cream cheese pastry crust.

But you know what makes an even better chicken pot pie topping than that? Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits.

Chicken Pot Pie with Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

Not familiar with Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits? Today is your &^%$#@! lucky day. A heavy dose of black pepper, creamy goat cheese, and tangy buttermilk (or greek yogurt) are cut into ordinary old drop biscuit dough. The result? Far from ordinary old drop biscuits.

Under those crispy-tipped biscuits, an entire Costco rotisserie chicken, plenty of vegetables, and more goat cheese keep the filling hearty and flavorful even in the absence of heavy cream.

WHY ARE YOU SO DOWN ON HEAVY CREAM, SHAWNDA? YOU BASICALLY TAKE PICTURES OF DESSERT FOR “A LIVING” AND ‘TIS THE SEASON, RIGHT?! I know, I know. But I have recently dropped 25 lbs and I’d like to drop another 25. Andplusalso, I am paying someone to take pictures of us this weekend so this is a NO HEAVY CREAM zone until after photos on Saturday :)

Chicken Pot Pie with Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

A hearty, flavorful chicken pot pie topped with tangy Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits.

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • 4 Tbsp butter (I used Smart Balance)
  • 1/2 very large yellow onion, chopped (~2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 12 baby carrots stolen from my kid's lunch stash)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken (that you picked up from Costco along with a whole bunch of stuff you didn't need)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp Tobasco (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 5 oz log of goat cheese, divided
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 8 oz frozen broccoli florets
  • For the biscuits:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Generous amount of black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter (again, more Smart Balance)
  • 2 oz goat cheese (that was leftover after making the filling)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I prefer 2/3 cup fat-free greek yogurt whisked with 1/3 cup 1% milk)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray (my dish holds 3 quarts) and set it on top of a baking sheet (safety first, clean ovens second).
  3. Heat 4 Tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper and cover, stirring occasionally and cooking for ~10 minutes until softened.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, skin, debone, and shred the rotisserie chicken - I save the "castoffs" in a large zipper bag and freeze to make stock later.
  6. Add the garlic, black pepper, generous pinch of salt, and flour to the pan, stirring to make a paste. Let cook 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice more (it will be thick and clumpy and do not panic).
  7. Add the Tobasco and then whisk in the chicken stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any flour and vegetables stuck to the pan.
  8. Bring mixture to a boil, add 3 oz of the goat cheese, peas, and broccoli, and cook until everything is heated through and the goat cheese has melted completely.
  9. Stir in the shredded chicken, add additional salt and pepper, turn off the heat, and transfer to the baking dish.
  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
  11. Cut the remaining 2 oz goat cheese and butter into the dry ingredients until a shaggy, crumbly mixture forms - I do this with my fingers and it takes ~60 seconds.
  12. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk or yogurt mixture. Stir until all traces of dry ingredients are gone. If it feels a little crumbly, knead it in your hands a few times.
  13. Pull off golf ball-sized chunks of dough and place on top of the chicken mixture.
  14. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake ~20-25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown.
  15. Try not to laugh so loud that you startle your 4-year-old when you find that she has pulled a chair up to the range and is eating the biscuit topping straight off the pot pie.

Notes

Yields: 6-8 generous servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, Biscuits from Cook Like a Champion

Estimated time: 1 hour 20 minutes

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