Gumbolaya – the best of Gumbo and Jambalaya

A New Orleans and Mobile Flavor.

A rich, full-bodied gumbo is the essence in many southern kitchens across the south but most folks think of New Orleans when the name of gumbo comes up. And that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with New Orleans. Now when folks mention Jambalaya, many too think of the Crescent City. But as I have written previously, the name hails from Mobile, not New Orleans.

According to an essay by Andrew Sigal, the first mention of Jambalaya in English print appears to be from Mobile AL. Submitted from Mobile to the American Agriculturalist journal in May 1849 is a mention of ‘Hopping Johnny’ with Jambalaya in parentheses. Later in 1878, the Ladies of the St. Francis Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Mobile published ‘The Gulf City Cook Book’, which features a recipe titled ‘Jam Bolaya’. The recipe contains oysters and chicken giblets along with the familiar tomatoes and rice.

This recipe melds the deep flavors of a Cajun style chicken and sausage gumbo with the savory essence of a Creole chicken and pork jambalaya. Combining the two is a passage into a whole ‘nother territory and folks, it is a good place to be.  Enjoy!

Gumbolaya
Cajun Gumbo marries Creole Jambalaya
about 10 servings

1 pound hot smoked or Cajun sausage, 1/4-inch sliced
1 tablespoon bacon grease or cooking oil
3 to 4 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound center-cut pork chops, cubed
2 large onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper
1 small red bell pepper
1 cup diced celery
4 garlic toes, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 -10 oz frozen cut okra
1 -14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup chopped green onions

In a large stockpot over medium high heat, add the sausage and oil. Cook until sausage is light brown. Add the pork and cook until brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the chicken (half at a time) sautéing until each side is nice and brown, about 4 minutes each side. Remove chicken to a plate and keep meats in a warm place.

browned meats for Gumbolaya

Add the vegetables and sauté to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook stirring until light brown roux forms, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, seasonings, okra, tomatoes and cooked meats. Allow to come to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook covered about 20 minutes.

Add the rice and when the Gumbolaya begins to maintains a simmer, cook uncovered about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Serve in bowls with a topping of green onions. We like hot crusty Fresh bread but cornbread muffins are equally good.

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