Soul Foodie: It’s ‘Gonna Be A Beautiful Night’ With This Jambalaya

Soul Foodie Soundtrack: Phonte feat. Carlitta Durand "Gonna Be a Beautiful Night"

There a few dishes in the Louisiana culinary lexicon that are as simple yet fulfilling an accompaniment to any meal as jambalaya, the traditional rice dish of southeastern Louisiana that serves up bold flavors. While jambalaya marries well with any dish, it's also strong enough to stand on its own as a main course entree. Just like a good jambalaya, hip hop and soul have always been the perfect compliment to one another. Phonte, of SoulBounce faves The Foreign Exchange, understands this and marries both his MC skills and soulful vocals on the mid-tempo romantic banger "Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" featuring Carlitta Durand, from his first solo release, Charity Starts at Home. Phonte blends the subtle seduction of soul with the head-nodding induction of a dope hip-hop track and bold lyricism, so it's only fitting for this song to be the theme music for Gonna Be a Beautiful Night Jambalaya. Cooking time for this jambalaya comes in around an hour and is sure to please even the most discriminating palate.

Gonna Be A Beautiful Night Jambalaya

1/4 pound butter
1 pound andouille or smoked sausage, sliced
1 pound tasso or ham, diced
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3 cups long grain rice, uncooked
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 Roma or Creole tomato, diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon basil
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup green onions, sliced

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add andouille and ham and continue to cook until lightly caramelized on the bottom of the pot, about 10-15 minutes. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Continue to sauté until vegetables are wilted, approximately 3-5 minutes. Stir in rice and chicken, blending well into the vegetable mixture. Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomatoes and spices. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and cook on low heat, covered, for 30 minutes. Take care that heat is low enough to prevent scorching. Add shrimp and green onions, stirring well into the mixture, cover and cook 10 additional minutes or until shrimp are done. Serve as a main course or as a side dish for chicken or seafood.

Serves 6-8

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