Smoky Campfire Jambalaya and Skillet Cornbread

What does a prairie girl know about the soulful cooking of the deep south? Nothing really, but this recipe has satisfied the stomachs of hungry beach goers and is surprisingly easy to make. Spicy andouille sausage, flavourful tomato sauce, layers of fresh, locally grown veggies, and smoky Louisiana style seasonings…Can anything come close to the mouthwatering amazingness we call jambalaya?

Some foods satisfy the stomach; others rouse enlightenment. But jambalaya speaks directly to your soul. It’s like a big hug from the Cajun grandfather you never had.

If you decide to make this recipe out in the wild, pack the perishables in a cooler.

Ingredients

1 pound boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced in 1” pieces
1 pound mixed seafood (shrimp, crab, crawfish)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
1 large green pepper, quartered and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes (chop some in half while keeping the others whole)
1 small can of diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked

Method

If you’re cooking over the fire, prepare the fire over the next hour by gathering wood and building up the coals so that they are hot. We want the fire to have some flame, but not so much that the food burns on the bottom or that it is difficult to give the pot a stir. We use a cooking tripod, but it is also fine to cook over a wire rack as long as it is high enough from the coals.

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron Dutch oven. Stir in the chicken and sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper, and dried thyme. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice until evenly coated, then add the tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and orange juice. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring often.

Add the seafood and cook an additional 10 minutes or until pink.

Serve with skillet cornbread.