Last revised 15-Oct-08
Two boxes Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix1 lb chicken breasts, slightly frozen1lb Polska Kielbasa or similar smoked sausage
2-3 garlic cloves 5-14.5 oz cans chicken stock (NOT low-fat)1tsp cumin*2 tsp white pepper*1 tsp celery seed*1/4 cup cooking oil1T chicken bullion* 1/4 cup celery slices*1/4 cup onion slices** apply as needed, to suit your preferences
Prep time: about an hour, but best made the night before it is served. See notes.
Prepare the Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix according to package directions except substitute three cans of chicken broth for the water. Omit the instructions about adding meat. Once started this will take about 20-30 minutes.
While the Zatarain’s mix is simmering, cut the smoked sausage into 1/4″ thick slices. Heat a frying pan to medium-high, then add a tablespoon of cooking oil. While the oil is heating remove the outer skin from one garlic clove and smash it with the flat side of a large knife. Press the smashed garlic with the flat side of the knife to further mash it and release the oils. Put the mashed garlic into the hot oil. Enjoy a sip of wine and marvel at the aroma for a few seconds. As the garlic just starts to turn a little brown add the slices of smoked sausage. Reduce heat if necessary but sear the open faces of the sausage to brown them (this helps to seal in the flavor, too).
While the sausage is browning, cut the slightly frozen chicken into 1/2″ square pieces. If you’re fast enough the sausage will be done browning just as you’re done cutting the chicken. Remove the sausage and place it in a crock pot or 5-qt Dutch oven. Add a little oil to the frying pan again, bash up some more garlic and brown it a little as you did before. Add the chicken squares and cook until they are no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan and place in crock pot.
When the Zatarain’s mix is done, add it to the crock pot along with the remaining ingredients. If you like firm onions in your soup wait until the soup is halfway though the cooking process before adding them. Add up to a pint of water if desired to make more soup. Stir to mix. If time permits, place in the refrigerator and allow to marry overnight. If you are using a crock pot, cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. If you are using a Dutch oven cook for four hours over medium-high heat and turn down once it begins to simmer. Stir occasionally, say, once an hour, and sample to determine if further seasoning is needed. Serves 8.