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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Dinner That Didn't Happen

Good evening!  I am kind of wondering where the day went!  I got everything done on my to do list without running around like a crazy person, and even had a good relaxing afternoon of reading The Help!  Before I knew it, it was 5 pm!  I guess I was so absorb in my book I didn't even realize time was flying by!  By this point my dad was off of work, and it was time to think about dinner!   Neither my dad nor I wanted to go grocery shopping for the ingredients for fish tacos, clearly fish tacos were the dinner that didn't happen.  So I bet you are wondering what we had, right?  Dinner was something delicious I will tell you that!  It had my dad doing this after dinner!

 I could not figure out what exactly I was hungry for, but then my mind wandered to what Mark had made last night for dinner... Jambalaya!  Mark told me about his Jambalaya last night and I instantly thought how good Jambalaya sounded!  Jambalaya got the seal of approval from my dad, so I set out to find a good recipe.  While I was looking for recipes I found myself thinking of a fabulous restaurant in Indianapolis, Yats! Yats is another place I will miss eating at.  Yats used to be a favorite weekend food destination for my friend Sam and I.
 Yats is known for cajun creole food, and I wanted to find a recipe that had similar flavors and textures as Yats.  My favorite dish from Yats is a chicken almost jambalaya like dish.  I am not sure I can really say what my favorite part of Yats is, the flavor, the amazing bread the huge assortment of hot sauces(obviously I love this, you  know I like my hot sauce) a menu that changes daily 
or the laid back feel?  I think its all the above!  I once went to Yats for lunch, and leapt back from the counter when they had a live Crawfish just sitting there!  Yats famous dish is Chili Cheese Etoufe with Crawfish!  This was the first time I had ever seen a live crawfish in my life, and I sat there for a few minutes just staring at this tiny crawfish!  It is a memory that sticks out in my mind when I think of Yats! (I know I am rambling a bit)

Any way the trick with Jambalaya is that most recipes call for shrimp or other shell fish, and my dad is allergic to all forms of shell fish.  Along with the shell fish problem Jambalaya is usually laden with meat, which is a no go for me.  I finally found this recipe that featured ham and shrimp.  The solution add more chicken, and sub out the shrimp and ham!  Beans also make a great sub in for other forms of protein!  This is another great one pot meal (you guys know I like those), that takes no time to assemble.  

Chicken Jambalaya:
Inspired by this recipe
6 Servings

What you need:
1 Pound Chicken cut into Chunks
2-15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used tomatoes with green peppers and onions)
1/2 Medium Pepper
1/2 Large Onion 
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Brown Rice
3/4 Cup Water
Cayenne Pepper, Parsley, Pepper
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil 

What you do:
Get your veggies cut and ready to go, heat the canola oil and saute your veggies!
You want your onions translucent, and peppers soft
Then add your chicken, cayenne pepper, pepper and parsley.  Cook for 5 minutes
Add both cans of tomatoes with juice and bring to a simmer (5 minutes)
Then add your rice, and bring to boil.
Once your Jambalaya is at a nice boil, reduce the heat cover and simmer until rice is tender!  About 45 minutes.  
Now you wait and wait and wait some more!  This is the longest part of the whole Jambalaya process, but the end result is well worth it!
Once that rice is done its time for dinner!  I served the Jambalaya with bread to soak up the extra sauce, I also set out some black beans and hot sauce!
Super spicy and flavorful Jambalaya!  I think I nailed the flavors that I wanted, I just wish I could have had some of that crusty Yats bread!  This dinner was a thumbs up from all!  My family and I are off to relax while watching HGTV (a family favorite) and play words with friends.  Yes my family is addicted to words with friends!  I will be back tomorrow with a great summer chickpea salad!  Enjoy your evening, and remember to live Happily Ever Healthy!