Easy Jambalaya With Real Cajun Flavor

I know my readers enjoy easy, yet flavorful meals they can crank out during the week, and this one is just for you! I've spent a couple of months tinkering with this recipe, and I finally got it where I want it. Now it's ready to share with everyone out there looking for a more authentic meal with a kick. And guess what? This is another easy fix you can make all in one pot. Yup, this little Texan can rock the Cajun cuisine too!

Easy Cajun Jambalaya

- 5 links Andouille or Polish Style Kiolbassa sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 1 14oz can of Diced Tomato, undrained
- 1 tablespoon Basil
- 1 tablespoon Thyme
- 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- about 4 dashes of your favorite Hot Sauce
- 1 cup Long Grain Rice (you can use instant)
- 2 cups Chicken Broth or Chicken Bullion
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven at medium to medium high heat. Fry sausage in oil until the edges get crispy. Remove sausage and set aside, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil/sausage fat in the pan. Reduce heat slightly, to about medium or just below medium. Add garlic and sautee of about 30 seconds, or until the garlic exudes a strong garlic aroma. Immediately add onion and sautee together until almost transluscent. Remove onions and garlic and set aside in another container. Add butter, melt, and add uncooked rice. Pan fry the rice until you see a very light toast color on them, about 5 minutes. Return onions to the pot. Add canned tomatoes, spices (except hot sauce), and chicken broth and stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot, and let rice cook for around 30 minutes (cooking times vary by stovetop and brand of rice). Be sure to check on the rice and stir occasionally and check for doneness. Return sausage towards the end of the rice's cooking time to reheat. Add about 4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce and mix well. Allow Jambalaya to cool for about 10 minutes and serve.

Cara's Tips: You can change the heat depending on your preferences, but please, go easy on the Cayenne pepper! A little bit goes a long way here. I recommend upping the amount of hot sauce to crank up the heat to be on the safer side. Cooking times on rice boxes vary, so use your best judgement in testing to doneness. Some might take 30 minutes (that's what I average), but other may take more, or even less time.

Enjoy the flavors of Louisiana at home, even during the week!

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