2 T olive oil, divided
1# Andouille or other highly seasoned smoked (chicken or pork) sausage, diced
½ C green bell pepper, diced
½ C red bell pepper, diced
1 C yellow onion, diced
½ C celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ t jalapeno, seeded and minced *or to taste
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
2 t dried basil, chopped
1 t dried oregano
½ t freshly ground black pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 C converted rice
1 C tomatoes, chopped
2 t tomato paste
¾ C dry white wine
1 ½ C chicken or vegetable stock
½ bunch scallions, sliced diagonally into ¼” pieces
2 T fresh parsley, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large saucepan with 1 T olive oil and cook diced sausage until nicely browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage and set aside.
Add the ‘trinity’- peppers, onion, celery, along with the minced garlic, and jalapeno (if using). Lower heat to medium and sauté until everything is well browned and flavorful. This could take as long as 12-15 minutes.
Add the next six ingredients and cook stirring until combined and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add converted rice and remaining 1 T of oil. Stir constantly taking care to coat rice with oil.
Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Sauté until rice grains are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add stock and white wine to rice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is just cooked through and tender.
Remove from heat. Remove lid and layer a double thickness of paper toweling on top of pot and replace lid. Let stand covered for 3-5 minutes. *This extra step absorbs excess moisture and produces perfectly fluffy rice every time.
Remove bay leaf and fluff rice with fork. Add reserved sausage, scallions and chopped parsley.
Serves 4 with ample leftovers
Chef’s Tip: Jambalaya with poached eggs and sautéed spinach makes an excellent breakfast –just sayin’