March 2017 Recipe of the Month

As hot as you want it to be!
Rich with flavorful herbs and spices, this recipe is a family favorite.
Contributed by Carla J.


4 small whole bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper (or substitute 1/2 tsp. black pepper)
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. filé powder, optional
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
5 tbsp. oil, divided
1 c. ham, cubed
2 links Polish or Andouille sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
4 ribs celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
1 small whole skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 c. uncooked rice (white, do not substitute longer cooking brown rice)
4 c. chicken stock


Combine bay leaves, salt, white pepper, mustard, cayenne pepper, filé powder, cumin, black pepper, and thyme in a small bowl.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the ham and sausage and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, seasoning mix and garlic. Stir well and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until everything is well-browned. Scrape the bottom of the skillet occasionally to keep ingredients from sticking.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, sauté the chicken pieces in the remaining oil and cook until no longer pink. Cut chicken in coarse chunks and add to the jambalaya.

Add the rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, stirring well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Variation: Omit chicken, add cleaned, shelled, deveined raw shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

This recipe originally appeared in the Star Tribune.