The need for yummy one pot dishes goes quite high with an eight week old baby in the household. One pot cooking offers the ability to delay serving time should your little one suddenly demand some attention (Grace seems to have an aptitude for getting hungry just as our dinner is ready!!!). It allows ease of serving when you’re tired and worn out from sleepless nights. It generates hearty portions so there’s always some for leftovers the next day – a welcome benefit when you’re home alone with the baby. Last but not least one pot cooking leads to minimal washing up duties – which can never be a bad thing!
My repertoire of recipes includes a few good one pot dishes but eager to expand the collection I scoured my recipe book collection for something new. I happened across Jamie’s America, a book that was purchased as a bargain addition from an order with The Book People, but not one I was desperate to own.
I have to admit I didn’t watch the TV series (an unusual occurrence in itself) and wasn’t sure how much I would actually like the recipes, but will gladly admit I was pleasantly surprised.
The book is laid out like a scrapbook of his travels, filled with stories and photos of the people he met and how he came across the recipes. This has it’s benefits in that you get a true taste of America and the food that real American’s eat/ The downside to this is that not all ingredients are readily available as I don’t think Tesco’s has started stocking alligator yet?! Therefore it’s not the most practical of cookbooks, but it does give you a good understanding of the culture and food of various areas of America. It’s recipe collection is very meat orientated so I wouldn’t recommend it to any vegetarians.
One of the recipes I highlighted in my first flick through the book was the Chicken, Sausage and Prawn Jambalaya. I think this appealed due to the similar ingredients it has to my Spanish paella and what’s more it’s all prepared in one pot.
Chicken, Sausage & Prawn Jambalaya
8 Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
300g Chorizo, skin removed, cut in 1cm slices
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green & 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
4 bay leaves
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1.5 ltrs of chicken stock
700g long grain rice
16-20 raw king prawns, peeled and deveined
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne. Brown the chicken in a large casserole pan with a couple of glugs of olive oil and the sliced sausage over a medium hear. Add your onion, peppers and celery, bay and thyme as well as some more seasoning. Stir, then fry on medium hear for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
Once the vegetables have softened, add your garlic and chillies, stir for a minute, then add stock and tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down, pop on a lid and leave to simmer for half an hour. When the meat is can be pulled off the bone, it is ready. You can remove the bones at this point if you so like – we kept our meat on the bone. Now add the rice, stir and replace the lid. Stir every few minutes, scraping the goodness of the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is done. Stir in the prawns and water if it needs it, the consistency should be porridge like. Pop back on for 4-5 minutes then stir through some chopped parsley and serve.
As this dish resembles a paella, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. Full of flavour and with a chilli kick you don’t get from it’s Spanish cousin, I thought it was perfect for either a mid week dinner or a leisurely evening in with friends. It’s definitely a dish that will be a firm favourite in this household.
Enjoy / Disfrutas!