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Quick Chicken Jambalaya

It’s football season! There are a lot of game-time traditions in our family, but this season I’ve decided that I’m switching up my bench a bit. I love chili, but it’s time to shake things up. I wanted to make something that was quick and easy – this recipe is one that scored a huge touchdown in our family! After a quick trip to the store, we were set to make our Quick Chicken Jambalaya during the pre-game show and sit down to eat by kickoff!

Divide and conquer! My seven-year-old son Tyler is kicking off the meal clock and assisting with chef duties today. I am cutting up the ingredients and he is putting them in. Go, Team! Simple and easy. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a deep pot. I used a 12-inch stock pot because I wanted to make sure that most of my ingredients stayed in the pot when being added and stirred. I have a very active helper!

Add 2 ribs of finely chopped celery to the butter. Then finely chop 1 medium green pepper (about 1 cup) and add it.

Next you will need 4 medium finely chopped green onions, or about 1/2 cup, to throw in. Super sniffer on duty over here. He tried to tap out for a substitution, but we were mid-game, so his substitution request was denied!

Cook over medium heat until crisply tender (about 3 to 4 minutes).

While the mixture is cooking, grab the rotisserie chicken – the easiest way to have cooked chicken! Another reason we love a rotisserie chicken (other than that I am too lazy to cook one)is because it has a wishbone! It’s the small things that go over huge in our house.

To get to the wishbone quickly, cut directly down the middle

and split the top “open.” Take the meat from either side of the bone and chop it.

You will find the wishbone here: Carefully remove it by pushing it forward and lifting it out; set it aside to clean off and dry out for later on.

Having them help find and save the wishbone is just a simple way of involving kids in helping to make dinner. It also helps motivate the boys to finish their meal, so they can break the wishbone afterward.

Back to the stove! Add 1 1/2 cups instant rice to the pot. I used brown rice, though the recipe calls for white rice. Either rice will work in this recipe. When cooking the brown rice, cook it a few more minutes to ensure it is cooked all the way through.

Next add 1 can or 14.5 ounces of chicken broth. I whisked 1 tablespoon of flour into the broth before adding the broth to the pot. I didn’t want to worry about lumps of flour in the jambalaya. I might be micromanaging, but I am on a tight deadline to get this done before kickoff!

If you whisked the flour into your broth before adding to the pot, have a flexible spatula ready to get the flour down at the bottom of the measuring cup. It may seem like an “extra” step, but it beats having to keep stirring to find flour lumps in your jambalaya!

Bring the jambalaya to a boil. Cover, continue cooking 2 more minutes. After about two minutes, add 1 1/2 cups chopped chicken...


...and 6 ounces (1 1/3 cup) Kielbasa sausage. The recipe tip says that you can add in almost any kind of sausage as long as it doesn’t have fennel in it.

Next add the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. No need to drain it; just use the whole can.

Stir the jambalaya, and it will look like this:

Cook until bubbly and heated through. It should take about 4 to 6 minutes. Then add salt and pepper, if needed. Remember, if you used instant brown rice, you may need to cook it for a few minutes longer.  Ready to serve!

In keeping with our chicken traditions, now it’s time to break the wishbone. The legend in my household is that if you have the side with the big bone at the top, you get to make a wish…

We have a winner, winner, chicken dinner! You don’t want to see the picture of the “non-winner.” Let’s just say it wasn’t a great display of good sportsmanship. Quite a bit of drama, actually. I know...this stuff never happens at your house, right?

Close your eyes and make a wish…Do you think he wished for more jambalaya? Let’s be real: it was probably for an insanely expensive toy. I’ll be sure to tell Santa so that he can add it to the list. (It’s never too early to bring Santa into the mix.)

Of course we had to have corn muffins to go with our meal. Score! It’s a great meal that is super easy to make! Our family was fine with the spice level just where it was. If you would like it to be hotter, add some hot sauce. Less spicy? Just use a plain can of diced tomatoes without the green chilies.

Another reason to love this meal? Quick clean up! It’s all in one pot! We even had some leftovers to take to work for lunch this week.

So, if you are looking to shake things up, Quick Chicken Jambalaya is an easy recipe to share with your family!


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