Monday, July 4, 2016

Abel's Jambalaya

There are many types of jambalaya recipes -- brown to red in color -- chicken and sausage -- seafood. They are all delicious.  The recipe I am sharing with you is the one that my father, Billy Abel, used to make at our family sporting goods store, the Land of Sports.  We often fed many customers and friends at lunch time.  The meat in the jambalaya depended greatly on what was in season and what people brought us from their hunts.  Rabbit, Squirrel, and even alligator tail meat make excellent protein for this dish.  However, the go-to meat for this jambalaya is chicken and smoked sausage, which is what this recipe calls for.

This is the easiest and cheapest one-pot meal you can make.

2-3 lbs chicken meat -- I recommend boneless chicken thighs and breasts for ease (though my dad always made his with bone-in chicken)
2 lbs of smoked sausage -- I like Manda's -  cut in half rounds about 1/2 inch thick
3 cups of rice (parboiled - like Uncle Ben's converted) -- this is important for the novice -- otherwise you may end up with the worst jambalaya ever -- both crunchy and mushy -- awful
6 cups chicken stock
1 large onion diced
1 large bell pepper diced
3 stalks celery diced
Oil to coat the bottom of a heavy bottomed 6- 8 quart pot
Creole Seasoning to taste.  You can use black pepper and salt instead if you prefer.

Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot.  Put in cut chicken breasts and thighs  -- I usually quarter them unless the pieces are huge -- they will be large but you can break them up as you cook.  Season liberally with creole seasoning.  The meat will be juicier if you resist the urge to cut them into small, bite-sized chunks.  Brown the chicken well on medium-high  to high heat, stirring with a heavy spatula frequently.  A brown fond will form on the bottom of the pot.  This is what you want for the color and flavor.

Once the chicken is browned and your have used your spatula to cut it into smaller pieces, add your cut sausage and brown this also, add another lighter coat of seasoning.

When chicken and sausage have browned, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery - again add another light covering of seasoning.  Stir and cover to let soften.

Next, add rice.  Stir so that the rice is coated with the oil that is in the pot.

Next, add your chicken stock  Stir well and lower heat to medium.  Cover pot.  Stir every 5 minutes or so until all the moisture is taken up by the rice.  At this time, test the rice to make sure it is soft enough.  If you like it softer, you can add a half-cup more of stock (or water) and stir.  Turn off heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with french bread and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Key Lime Pie

Beth's favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie -- she prefers this to cake on her birthday.  This is a really easy recipe.  Little prep time required.  


1 package of whole graham crackers - pounded or food processed into crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
2 whole large eggs

Mix sugar and graham cracker crumbs in a pie plate.  Add melted butter and mix together.  Press mixture into the pie plate for the crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the condensed milk, lime juice and eggs together.  Pour mixture in the baked pie crust.  Bake the whole pie for 15 minutes more.  Let pie cool and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Serve with whipped cream and some lime zest on top.



Really Easy Turkey Gumbo

I have a very lazy way of making turkey gumbo.  But it tastes delicioius.  Hope you can use this during the holidays.  It is always a hit.

1 lb sausage to your liking (I prefer andoille but smoked beef or pork will do)
1 onion diced
1 stalk celery diced (optional)
1 small bell pepper diced (optional)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour for roux
4 cans of chicken stock
1 1lb. bag of frozen okra
2 - 3 cups of leftover turker or more if you want it meatier
Salt, pepper or Cajun spice to taste

Melt butter and cook sausage in butter.  Remove sausage when darkly browned.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper in drippings/butter from sausage.  Cook until tender -- about 5 minutes.  Add flour into the pot with drippings and veggies.  Cook until it for a couple of minutes.  It will be dark because of the fond left by the sausage.  When roux is dark, add chicken stock, okra, sausage, and turkey.  Stir until roux is well combined.  Simmer for 30 minutes and serve with rice.

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie Made Really Easy

With leftover turkey, what to do.  I already made a turkey gumbo, turkey enchiladas (with my enchilada recipe on this site), and turkey salad sandwiches.  I looked in my pantry and made a great pot pie!

1 medium onion diced
1/2 stick of butter
1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 can of water
1 carrot diced
2 potatoes diced
2 cups of leftover turkey, diced (you can also use chicken in this)
1/2 cup peas (frozen is best)
1/2 cup corn (frozen or canned)
1/2 tsp sage or poultry seasoning
1 Pillsbury roll-out pie dough

Sautee the onion in butter.  Add cream of chicken plus one can of water.  Add carrots and potatoes.  Cook until slightly tender.  Add the turkey, peas, corn, and sage/poultry seasoning.  Let cool somewhat.  Remove the two pie dough rolls from their box and line a pie plate with one.  Fill with pot pie mixture.  Tope with the other crust.  Crimp both doughs together.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes

These are always a big hit a family gatherings.  Becca just made a triple batch of them for Thanksgiving and they were gobbled up!

1 - 5 lb bag of potatoes -- russett or any other kind peeled -- (if you use red potatoes you don't have to peel them if you don't mind the color and texture)
1 1/2 tsp of salt (add to boiling water)
1 1/2 stick butter
1 package of cream cheese
1/2 - 1 cup of milk
1 1/2 tsp of salt -- you may need more or less depending on your taste
salt to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water.  Drain and put back in hot pot.  Add butter and cream cheese while potatoes are steaming hot.   Let this melt and then smash potatoes.  Add milk a little at a time until creamy.   Don't over mix potatoes.  They will be somewhat lumpy but that is good for texrure.  Keep potatoes warm by keeping them in a pan in the oven at 170 degrees.  If potatoes get too thick while waiting for serving, add a little milk and stir.  

I do not suggest doing more than a double recipe at a time. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chicken Taco Burritos or Salad

This recipe is founded in the craze that many people have of going to Izzo's, Cafe Rio, or some other build your burrito eatery.  It is super easy with no mess or fuss

4 skinless chicken breasts or a whole chicken if you like (you can use boneless for ease)
2 packages of McCormick Chicken Taco mix
1 can of black beans
Mexican Cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Salsa
Flour or corn tortillas -- your choice

Cook the chicken with NO seasonings in your crockpot for three to four hours on high -- every crockpot cooks differently it seems to me so you will have to gauge the time.  When the chicken is shreddable, it is done.

Let chicken cool somewhat and then shred.  Mix in taco mix and a few tablespoons of water.  Voila -- your meat is done.  All you need to do is put the meat and the fixings out and let everyone make their own.  It makes a great chicken taco salad also -- just use everything except the tortilla!

I like to top with a mixture of ranch dressing and puree of avocado with a little lime juice for a dressing.

Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crockpot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I made this at my sister Melanie's house this week. Very easy though not as good as the old fashioned way. But it is a great way to make Sunday lunch while at church.

3 or 4 chicken breasts or thighs ( I use boneless)
1 lb of smoke sausage link
1 lb frozen okra
1 can chopped tomatoes regular sized can
1 small onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
2 celery stalks sliced
1 - 2 teaspoons liquid crab boil
1 -2 tsp garlic salt
2 bay leaves
For roux
1/2 cup oil
1 cup plain flour

Chop chicken into large pieces while raw.  Also chop sausage ino rounds. Put meat in crockpot. Put all other ingredients except oil and flour in crock pot. Cover with water or chicken stock. Cook on high for four to six hours depending on your crockpot. Near end of cooking make roux in skillet by browning flour and oil mixture.  It should be the darkness you want your gumbo to be. Add finished roux a spoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.  Save any extra roux in fridge for up to three weeks to use on another dish. Serve over rice.