chicken sausage jambalaya. a recipe review

when i first saw this recipe in the march issue of bon appetit i couldn’t wait to try it. we both thought  it looked wonderful. this morning in getting ready to post the link to the recipe, i noticed it had twenty-five reviews and nearly all twenty-five reviewers said they would try it again.  i am wondering what is wrong with me.  because i would never fix it again.  at least not without a major tweak here and there.  yes it is very “meaty” but that wasn’t really the problem.  we felt that the dish lacked a bit of flavor and cooking the rice in the broth created a sticky texture that ended up being unpalatable. after splurging on the ingredients, anticipating it all weekend, then spending the afternoon to make it, we were terribly disappointed.  i’m still getting over it.

if i were to do it over i would for the purpose of the budget, decrease the meat.  i think a little bit of bacon, some andouille, and the chicken would have been just fine.  the next thing i would have done would have been to allow it to cook all day to develop more flavor.  starting it on the stove top, and finishing it in the oven did  little more than just get it started.   to deal with the rice issue, i think i would have cooked the rice separately and added a little to each bowl before ladling a soupier jambalaya on top.

another change that i made that might have contributed to the lack of flavor was the kind of tomatoes i used.  the recipe called for three 10 oz cans of “tomatoes with chilis” .  this means rotel.  rotel is that wonderful stuff usually combined with velveeta cheese to make a high class (not) dip to be served while watching a football game.  in an effort to take the recipe to a healthier level, i substituted muir glenn organic tomatoes with chilis.  while they may have been harvested without any pesticides, they just seemed to lack the umph of the “real thing”.   in that case, i think it would have been better to let well enough alone.

word to the wise: if you do decide to give this a try, note the yield.  the recipe states 10 servings.  this is more like 20.  definitely adjust unless you want to eat this for a week.

serve it with biscuits or cornbread.


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