Beer-Infused Jambalaya Recipe
With Mardi Gras approaching it’s a great time to get together with friends, feast and drink together, and as they say on Fat Tuesday, “let the good times roll.” This multi-flavored party-in-a-pot Mardi Gras Jambalaya, enhanced by the use of beer, will certainly help you do just that. Once you’ve completed your guest list, here’s what you’ll need to pick up at the grocery store.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 Cloves garlic; chopped
- 1 Green bell pepper; seeded and diced
- 1 whole white onion; diced
- 4 stalks celery; washed and finely chopped
- 1 package andouille sausage; sliced thinly
- 4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs cut up into bite sized pieces
- 3 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix. (I used McCormicks)
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 8 oz (1 cup) chicken broth
- 16 oz (2 cups) beer of your choice – preferably a lighter ale or lager
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- Parsley and/or lime wedges for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a sturdy, deep pot over medium heat. Add diced vegetables, garlic, and andouille sausage, season with salt and pepper and saute together about 5-7 minutes with the lid covering the pot until the vegetables have softened. Then, add diced chicken thighs to the pot with more salt and pepper, and stir together, letting cook another 10 minutes. Also add shrimp or any other meat to the jambalaya base if you wish at this time.
Next, add the liquids – chicken broth and beer, along with the canned tomatoes and Cajun seasoning. Stir together and let all come to a boil. This is where the flavor really starts to develop and you’re also cooking the alcohol in the beer off. After the pot has come to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and let cook for an additional twenty minutes, letting all those flavors mingle with one another. Now is a great time to open a beer for yourself (if you haven’t already), because let’s face it, waiting is hard.
You should see the Jambalaya base turning a deep red or even brown color after about 20 minutes, then it’s time to add the rice and tomato paste. Add the rice to the pot, then stir in the tomato paste and put your burner to it’s lowest setting. You’ll want to make sure this is mixed well, and pay attention to stirring every few minutes so the rice doesn’t stick or burn at the bottom of the pot. The rice will start absorbing the liquid. This final part of the process usually takes about a half hour total to let the rice soften enough. Depending on how many people you cook for, you can always adjust the rice and liquid ratio, just remember, with Jasmine rice, you’ll want a 1 ½ cup liquid to 1 cup of rice ratio.
We’re almost ready to eat! Add any seasoning as needed, and if you’d like to slice some lime or chop up some parsley to top your plates, this is that time. The lime contributes a nice freshness to the dish. Pour yourself and your friends another beer, such as a Pilsner or Cream Ale (we paired our Jambalaya with Dorchester Brewing Company’s Clapp’s Cream Ale ) to cut through the heat of the Cajun spice and acidity of the tomatoes. Most importantly, Enjoy!
Allo Gilinsky, 29, is a home cook, Boston beer lover, and aspiring Cicerone with a knack for pairing craft beer with inspired recipes. A hospitality professional who loves to visit breweries and engage other craft beer drinkers, he’ll soon be starting his own food and beer social media presence, “Craft Beer Kitchen.” Be sure to keep your eyes, and your appetite, on the look out.