Wednesday, October 29, 2008

#27_ Chicken a la Jambalaya on Pasta

The photo above is Jambalaya Pasta from a restaurant. It is so good that I had ordered it several times when we went there, but it is a bit pricey for me, about 12 dollars with no side dish, not even a piece of toast. I thought to myself, "I can make this." So the last time we went there I took this picture so I can dissect it and maybe replicate it. Included on the description on their menu is a list of the main ingredients which includes chicken breast, shrimp, cajun sausage, pork loin and creole tomato sauce.

I went to several stores looking for the cajun sausage and creole tomato sauce. I don't know, but the restaurant probably special order these items from a specialty stores, even the butcher said he hadn't heard of such a sausage. He suggested that I should just get some ground pork and season it with cajun seasoning. As soon as he said that I had a "light bulb moment." I went to the spice shelves and bought a bottle of cajun seasoning and decided not to use sausage.

This is my modified version of the dish. Since this is just an experiment, I didn't bother to add pork or shrimps in it. Without pork, shrimps or the sausage its not appropriate to call this dish jambalaya. So I call it Chicken a la Jambalaya on Pasta.
I had a couple of chicken breasts saved in the freezer from making the chicken adobo a few weeks ago. It is a rotisserie chicken, so cooking the dish was a breeze. After thawing the chicken breast in the microwave, I cut them up in large chunks. I sauteed some chopped onions in a little bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. When the onions were wilted I added the chunks of chicken and continued to saute it for a few minutes, adding some thyme and oregano and some celery salt as I was sauteing it. Then I poured in 2 pints of tomato salsa which I made a couple of months ago. Right after I poured in the second bottle of salsa, I thought I made a disaster because it dawned on me that the salsa has some vinegar in it. Well, I continued to simmer it anyway, thinking that it is just an experiment..scientists make mistakes too and who am I, but an old lady in the kitchen! Needless to say, I continued. I added 1 tablespoon of the cajun seasoning, chunk slices of green bell pepper and some, sliced red bell pepper.
While the sauce was simmering, I boiled some Mostaccioli pasta. ( for boiling pasta, refer to entry#4). Then poured the jambalaya sauce over the pasta.

To my amazement, it tasted good! Except my version is slightly drier because I didn't use tomato sauce, and I could taste a little touch of vinegar. Other than that it came out good. Next time I'll get some sausage and use tomato sauce instead of tomato salsa. I will do some more experimentations on this recipe, until and enjoy life! Bon Appetit!!
When my husband came home, I asked him if he wanted to try my pasta. He said sure! Before I served it to him, I heated up some plain tomato sauce and added about 1 teaspoon of cajun seasoning and mixed it up with the dish. It made a difference! He didn't only said "GOOD!", "REALLY GOOD" but also had two big servings of it.

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