Originally created 03/02/05

Skillet jambalaya is one-pot pleaser



Spanish rice with pork chops or chicken was a common one-skillet supper when I was growing up, but at my house the dish has been replaced by another one-pot rice dish - jambalaya.

This skillet jambalaya is loaded with sausage, chicken and shrimp, and it can be on the table in 30 minutes.

There is a good bit of chopping involved in the recipe, but if you're short for time you can substitute one 16-ounce package of defrosted seasoning blend for the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery, which can be found next to the chopped onion and bell pepper in the freezer section of your supermarket.

Canned petite diced tomatoes save you the trouble of chopping canned tomatoes, and you can substitute seasoned diced tomatoes flavored with green chilies or those seasoned with celery, bell pepper and onion if you want more flavor.

Instead of measuring out spices, I've used a prepared Cajun seasoning blend in the recipe. Look for Emeril's Original Essence or Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Magic in the spice aisle of your supermarket. I used two teaspoons of Emeril's blend when testing the recipe, and the dish was not too spicy and just right for my two children. Add more if your family likes things hot.

The juices from the tomatoes and some reduced-sodium chicken broth provide just enough liquid to cook the long-grain rice. I like to use Uncle Ben's converted rice because the grains do not stick together, but you can use your favorite brand of long-grain rice.

The shrimp in this jambalaya are added just before serving, ensuring they're not overcooked. Simply stir in the shrimp, turn off the heat and cover the skillet for a minute or two for perfectly cooked shrimp. Serve this one-skillet supper with a cold wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with your favorite creamy dressing.

Skillet Jambalaya

8 ounces reduced-fat smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup long-grain rice*

1/2 pound medium to large raw peeled and deveined shrimp

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and saut until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and saut until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Cajun seasoning. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, return to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Stir in the shrimp, turn off the heat, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink.Makes 6 servings.

*Uncle Ben's converted long-grain white rice was used for testing purposes.

Nutritional information per serving: 296 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated, 38 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 98 milligrams cholesterol, 814 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Nutritional analysis completed by the Richmond County School Nutrition Program, in conjunction with the Augusta Area Dietetic Association.

Coming next week: The flavors of the Mediterranean are highlighted in a shrimp pasta toss with artichokes and feta cheese. See Karin prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).

Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903. Or send e-mail to karin.callaway@comcast.net. You can find previous Quick Cooking recipes through the online archive at AugustaChronicle.com/karin.