Winter hit this morning.  Cold.  Rain.  Wind.  All of my favorite things.  It actually caught me a bit by surprise!  I had been watching the weather closely this past weekend for our trip to DC – I really didn’t pay any attention to it once we got back.  Surprise!!!  Cold.  Rain.  Wind.  Yuck.

So coldrainwind calls for something hot, spicy, slightly soupy and/or casseroley.  I didn’t want a stew, I didn’t want soup.  A jambalaya of sorts fit the bill.

Jambalaya can have the rice cooked inside as part of the dish or it can be served over rice.  I chose the former for this dish.  A Jamba-Paella!

This was a throw-together, but the concept is there… You can add or subtract ingredients, play with quantities, whatever.  You can also make it without the rice and just serve it over the rice of your choice.  This made a goodly amount.  Victor has lunch for the next few days!


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, diced
  • 1 lb chicken (breast or thighs) cubed
  • 12 oz langostino tails, thawed
  • 1 can (15 oz)  diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup rice (I used black japonica – takes 45 minutes to cook)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp herbs d’Provence
  • 1/4 tsp boonie pepper (substitute cayenne, to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

If you have a paella pan (a Le Cruset pan really rocks!) all the better.  A pan with a tight-fitting lid is rather important.

Wilt the onion and pepper in a bit of olive oil.  Add the garlic, andouille, and chicken, and brown a bit.

Stir in the rice, then add the tomatoes with juice, the broth, and the seasonings.

Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat.  Simmer until rice is tender – which will totally depend on the type of rice you used.  If mixture is too liquidy, uncover and increase heat to reduce a bit.

Right before serving, stir in the thawed, cooked langostino.  Heat through, check seasonings, and serve with crusty bread.

This particular rice has a habit of turning everything purple, but I really really like its whole-grain chewy texture.  You can use basic white rice  – which will turn a lovely shade of orange – or any rice of your choice.

You can even go crazy and use something like barley – or quinoa – or whatever you happen to have in the cabinet.  Just adjust the cooking time to the grain used.

And on the diet-front…

Victor is down 20 pounds as of this morning and I’m down 29!  I saw 211 on the scale this morning and did the happy dance all the way to work!

21 to go – and still eating well!