When I seen it I knew it had to happen. My mouth immediately dropped open and the words AMAZING and BRILLIANT jumped from my mouth before I could stop them. Unfortunately I was a work. A quick text with the link was instantly sent to my son with the simple words “We’ve got to make this happen!” What is this, you ask? Smoked white rice. A great bloggist that I follow on social media, Clint Cantwell, had posted a simple technique for cold smoking rice in his blog grillocracy.com. Here’s link to his cold smoked rice technique, How to Smoke Rice. So we did a quick test run and sure enough this stuff was everything it was billed to be. Then came the challenging task of how to use the rice, and what are the best ways to use it. I’d been craving jambalaya for some time, and even more so I’d been craving making it. So, we went with it.
What to expect: The wonderful full flavors that you get from jambalaya, with subtle hints of smoke from the rice and sausage. The initial recipe is not super spicy, slicing some fresh Serrano peppers into it, not only gives you some nice heat but brightens up the dish and adds a layer of texture. Served on the side it allows each person to add as much fire as they desire.
Yield: Serves 4 comfortably.
*Don’t let the ingredient list scare you away from making this, you’ll be surprised how much you already have on hand other than the proteins.
What you’ll need:
2-3 hours if all done at once.
1 large chicken breast
½ lb either andouille sausage, or spicy sausage
1 medium to large onion chopped
1 large green bell pepper diced
2 stalks celery chopped
1 cup white long grain rice, rinsed, and cold smoked with hickory
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tsp hot sauce (for authentic taste I prefer Tabasco, it is from there)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
½ pound medium raw shrimp, deveined (optional: tails removed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 Serrano peppers sliced
1 lemon wedged into quarters
For the creole seasoning:
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How we did it:
Begin by rinsing your rice well, this removes the excessive glutton which tends to make the rice extremely sticky.
Cold smoke the rice. For this particular recipe I recommend a stronger smoke, something along the lines of hickory. It has a lot of flavors to compete with.
*This can be done up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container.
Combine the ingrediants for the creole seasoning.
Place in spice grinder if you have one, and grind into a fine powder.
*Can be done a month in advance, store in an airtight container, in a cool dry place.
Set grill up for direct grilling.
Coat the chicken breast well with the seasoning, and grill over direct coals.
*Chicken can be grilled 1 day in advance.
While the chicken cooks toss you onion, green pepper, and celery in a grill pan and grill over direct coals also.
Cook until just firm to the bite.
After the chicken and veggies finish move the coals to either side for indirect grilling, and add a few fresh coals along with a couple of hickory chunks.
Place your sausage in the void and begin smoking you sausage.
*Sausage can be smoked and sliced 2-3 days in advance.
Once the sausage is done cut the chicken breast into a nice bite size dice (forgot the picture).
Slice the sausage.
Place a LARGE pan on the stove over high-medium heat.
Add the tomatoes, 2 tsp hot sauce, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups chicken broth, onion, celery, and peppers, 1 Tbls creole seasoning.
Stir well, to mix in the flavors and the creole seasoning.
Bring to a boil.
Add chicken, and sausage.
Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Stirring once ½ through.
Add shrimp and cook another 10 minutes, or until rice is done and the shrimp is opaque.
Garnish with sliced scallions, and serve with lemon wedges and Serranos on the side.
Remember, what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.