Isaac Toups is back and this time he’s showing you the classic Cajun Jambalaya. This dish is a southern staple, perfect for learning the basics of a Louisiana kitchen, like making a proper roux, the “holy trinity,” juggling, and, of course, knife throwing. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Isaac starts off the video by showing us some impressive juggling skills. He grew up with his dad juggling lemons in the kitchen. So he and his best friend just took it further, juggling knifes and even tomahawks.
What we need for this recipe is:
- Grapeseed or Canola Oil. (Needs to have a high smoke point)
- Chicken Thighs. You can use Turkey Legs of you don’t like Chicken or even ground pork.
- Bell Pepper
- Lots of garlic. Don’t skip on the garlic!
- Black Pepper. Grind until your arm gets sore!
- One Cayenne Pepper.
- Chicken stock
- Smoked sausage
- Green onions
- Unsalted butter
Start out by adding 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a big cast iron pot. With your chicken thighs laid out on a plate sprinkle some kosher salt on top of it. Follow that with black pepper. Turn the thighs around to make sure you season both sides.
Chuck those thighs in the pot and give it a good hard sear, because searing tastes great. Once the chicken is seared move it off to the side so we can start on the roux.
In the same pot you just seared the chicken in add half a cup of canola oil. Do not use butter for a dark roux as it has a very low smoke point which will make the roux bitter. This Cajun Jambalaya is coming along nicely!
You always want you vegetables prepped. That is one red bell pepper, two stalks of celery and one large onion, all nicely diced. Next prep eight cloves of garlic. Always be real gentle when you pulverize your garlic! 🙂
Chop up one fresh cayenne pepper or any hot pepper. Isaac prefers to chop his pepper whole keeping the seeds in.
Once you start making your roux you want to do nothing else. So have your beer close and then start the process. First you add half a cup of flour to the pot. Don’t walk away from this. Roux is not hard but it is particular. Keep stirring the oil and the flour together.
It is an almost continuous stir and it will go from white to blond and then dark real quick. You don’t want any burnt bits. Let it go dark to the color of a Hershey chocolate bar.
Now that is is nice and dark it is time to add the trinity. That is the bell peppers, the celery and onion. Give it a stir and it doesn’t have to cook very long. This is when the amazing smells start coming out.
Next up add the garlic and the peppers. Because the roux is already so hot, you only need to stir and cook it for a minute. Your vegetables need to be nicely caramelized.
Add in six cups of chicken stock. Give it a good stir why you are doing this. You don’t want lumpy sauce so makes sure you get everything incorporated. Add salt and some more black pepper to the roux.
Now you just let it simmer in the pot for about an hour. This will compound the flavor and cook the flour out. This is an essential step so don’t skip it. You do want your Cajun Jambalaya to be perfect after all.
After the hour has passed chop up some smoked sausage and add to the pot. Any smoked sausage would be good. Next up add two cups of rice straight into the mixture. Give it a good stir.
Add in the chicken thighs. Give it another good stir. The chicken is going to cook down and release all the good juices. Put a lid on the pot and stick it in the oven. It needs to cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Oven must be pre-heated to 350 degrees.
Take it out. Slice up the green onions. Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and the green onions to the mix. Give it a good stir.
Voila. Time to dish up.