One of the most fitting ways to celebrate Mardi Gras is with this hearty, bold-flavored specialty of New Orléans featuring shrimp and spicy sausage.
A gradual layering of flavors starts with pan-fried bacon and chorizo sausage followed by the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. Sautéed in the same pan, they pick up all the savory, browned bits of flavor clinging to the bottom.
The tomatoes, spices and crumbled bacon go in next to mingle and make friends with the vegetables, then finally the cooked sausage and the chicken broth.
The shrimp cooks almost instantly, within a moment or two of hitting the pan so are mixed in at the end. You risk making them inedible, with a texture closely resembling rubber bands if added sooner.
Jambalaya usually calls for cooking the rice in the pot along with everything else so it can soak up all those juicy flavors. For a light and fluffy texture I cook mine separately. A method called “white” jambalaya.
To make super fluffy rice rinse well in a colander beforehand to remove excess starch and don’t lift the lid while it cooks! As tempting as it is. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to sit for a few minutes with the lid on, then run a fork through it to fluff up before serving.