Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Orzo As Jambalaya

What do you get when you cross Ina’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables with My Jambalaya? You get a yummy Chicken and Orzo - Jambalaya Style. (If you can think of a better name…I’m listening).

I had recently made (and made up) a jambalaya for visiting friends, which I really liked. Why didn’t I take a picture? Sorry.

Shortly after that, I needed a recipe for the night before Thanksgiving for 10 people, but one that could sit if it had to. I didn’t want the jambalaya (with rice) to be left too long, so I took Ina’s idea of orzo - with roasted vegetables with a lemon dressing - and jambalaya’ed it up with spicy chicken, Andouille sausage and shrimp. I like it because it can be served just-made OR various components can done in advance and put together when the chicken is cooked.

This picture was taken moments after the first servings were doled out. Sorry...again.

A big plus was that I had a real bonus of a wine to serve with it. My great blogging buddy, Tom (a wine professional!) had given me this great bottle of wine a while ago and I was saving it. 


It was great with this dish, spunky enough to stand up to the spice and smooth enough to go down easily. And yay, only three of us were drinking red wine.

Now PLEASE don’t discount this recipe because it LOOKS long. This is all you do:

·         Cook the orzo.
·         Cook chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage separately.
·         Roast vegetables separately.
·         Throw it all together with equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil.

That’s it! (There IS a really quick spice mix to be made, but you can do that with your eyes closed and way in advance.) 

Chicken and Orzo - Jambalaya Style (serves 10)
Printable recipe here

Cajun spice mix:
2 tsps. paprika
2 tsps. organo
2 tsps. thyme
2 tsps. chili powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

16 large shrimp, peeled
3 large chicken breasts with skin and bone, cut in half widthwise
6 chicken thighs with skin and bone

2 red onions, chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 small yellow squash, chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 small zucchini, chopped into ½ inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, center stalk removed and pressed
2 tbls. olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

the dressing:
½ cup fresh lemon juice – save the lemons after squeezing to add to the chicken while it’s cooking
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. Kosher salt

2 chicken Andouille sausages (I like Trader Joe’s), halved lengthwise and sliced on the diagonal

2 boxes of orzo

2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Mix together ingredients for Cajun spice mix. Set aside 2 teaspoons and coat the shrimp with it in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (later on). 

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle remaining Cajun spice mix over chicken pieces. Coat well. Add used lemon halves to chicken.

Line a large sheet with foil and spray with a nonstick spray. Toss the red onion, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, red pepper and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on the baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Arrange chicken and leftover lemon halves in roasting pan or baking dish, sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook in same oven as vegetables for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Or cook when the vegetables come out. Using tongs, squeeze juice from cooked lemon halves over chicken.

Meanwhile, mix up lemon juice, olive oil and salt for dressing. Set aside. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and put back in pot in which it was cooked. Immediately pour a few tablespoons of the dressing over and mix well.

When vegetables are cooked, add them and any juices to orzo. Add any juices from cooked chicken to orzo as well.

Spray a bit of nonstick spray in a medium nonstick frying pan. Sauté Andouille sausage over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned. Stir sausage into orzo with scallions and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Add more dressing to coat the orzo nicely. Taste for seasoning.

Cook shrimp in a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick frying pan for one minute or until seared nicely. Cook second side of shrimp for another minute.

To serve, spoon cooked orzo with vegetables and Andouille onto large platter. Arrange chicken pieces on top and place cooked shrimp around edge of dish. Spoon a bit more dressing over chicken and serve the rest separately. Sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley and serve. 


Abandoned By Wolves said...

This looks like comfort food supreme. Anymore a vegetable rarely makes it onto my table without being roasted first, and this fits right in with my current enthusiasm for roasting. This dishis on my to-do list for the weekend. (And the picture looks fine!)

Sue said...

Thanks, James. I hope you love it. It's hard to beat roasted vegetables.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love orzo. There is just something about little pasta - and it's easier to cook than rice. Definitely a fun experiment.

Emily said...

Sorry, I've been a slacker with commenting. I've been reading some of your posts but failing to comment. I feel bad.

I love this idea of using orzo instead of rice for jambalaya! Brilliant. I think it would taste better too. It's beautiful!