Wednesday night is swimming night. I hate it with a passion. But then it’s a life skill they need to learn and is non-negotiable. We don’t get home until 6pm and with three starving swimmers in tow I need to have something prepared and ready to wack on the table.
Its normally jacket potato station. But I’m still in post-holiday mode and have next to nothing in the fridge and cupboards. The thought of dragging them all out to the shops was just too much though so I resolved to do the best I could and possibly admit beans on toast defeat.
But there lurking in the back of the fridge, was chicken! Manna from heaven.
I always have rice and tins of tomato (except today, when I had to borrow one from a neighbour) and there were some mixed peppers I chopped and frozen when they looked slightly depressed last week.
A light bulb went on in my head and Jambalaya happened.
So here it is. The way I cook is pretty haphazard. I only follow recipes to a point, I can never be bothered waiting for things to soften/sweat/brown properly and I generally just guess measurements. Who has time to be Delia these days anyway?
Buckwheat avalanche – the perils of last minute rush cooking!
1-2 chicken breasts, diced
3 Spring onions
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic
oil (for cooking)
Cajun seasoning (1tbsp each ground cumin/coriander/paprika, 2tsp oregano, black pepper, pinch of salt)
250g brown (or any other) rice
1 tin chopped toms
800 ml chicken stock
handful frozen peas
handful frozen sweetcorn
handful chopped parsley
- Heat the oven to 150 degrees.
- In a large pan, that can also go in the oven, soften the peppers and onion in the oil for as long as you can be bothered.
- Toss in the chicken and garlic and cook until the chicken is starting to brown
- Meanwhile mix together the Cajun seasoning.
- Once browned, add the seasoning, tinned toms and chicken stock.
- Stir, clamp on lid and put in the oven for two hours and until rice is cooked and liquid absorbed.
- Remove from oven, throw in peas, sweetcorn and parsley. Stir. Put lid back on and leave for 5 minutes before serving.
As you can see, this Jambalaya was not born out of precision or exact method or measurement, nor I suspect is it wholly authentic, but was damn tasty, ready to serve when we got home and filled five rumbling tums without complaint.