Many places have their own character, but I think that southern Louisiana, including New Orleans, is truly one of the most unique ones in the United States.
I had the pleasure of going there a handful of times over a several year period about ten years ago. Walking around New Orleans you get the food, the music, the atmosphere and of course, the drinking. If you have not been to the French Quarter in New Orleans, it is truly a different kind of place. The locals will often shun the area as it is tourist heaven, but heck, I didn’t live there so I fit right in.
One of the key differences that I first noticed was the open containers of alcohol. New Orleans allows open containers of alcohol within the city as long as it is in a plastic container (no glass or metal). Consequently, you will see tourists (like me) walking around with foot long tubes filled with some frozen alcoholic concoction. It is common for someone leaving an establishment to get a “to go” cup for the walk back to the hotel. It almost seems like you are not on city streets but walking around an amusement park.
Louisianans take advantage of the liquor laws in another way. Daiquiri shops are fairly common in the state. In fact, the laws allow drive-thru daiquiri shops. In order to cut down on the drinking and driving that you think would run rampant because of this, the shops are not allowed to put a straw in the cup for you. Doing so would promote drinking and driving. So you must get the straw “on the side”.
Growing up my father made jambalaya that contained a higher percentage of rice and less fluids.
Start with the aromatics.
Chicken thighs – my favorite.
A great slow cooker dish to come home to after a long day at work.
Shrimp, Chicken, and Sausage Jambalaya
Prep Time: 35 mins | Cook Time: 6 hrs | Makes: 8 | Difficulty: Easy
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 3/4 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 large scallions, green parts only, sliced
- Hot pepper sauce
1) Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until vegetables begin to brown and garlic is quite fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a 4 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker.
2) Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to slow cooker and add bay leaf, rice, thyme, parsley, tomatoes, and sausage, in the order listed.
3) Cover and cook until flavors are blended and rice and chicken are tender, 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking time, gently stir in shrimp; cover and cook until shrimp are pink and opaque. Sprinkle scallions on top just before serving and serve with plenty of hot sauce on the side.