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A Cajun “Chrimbo”

Some friends of ours are Mississippi expats living in Vermont, and we love doing holidays together (though not always in a timely fashion). This year, our very late Christmas “Chrimbo” celebration – teetering into Mardi Gras territory – was in their apartment, and the food was pure Cajun. So, while their kids were playing with their brand new (and belated) Christmas presents from us, the adults were wandering between the living room and kitchen, drinking cocktails and listening to stream on the computer from Nawlins. And the reason why it was called “Chrimbo?” I have no idea. But, that’s what Kelee and Ben call it. And I don’t question anyone who feeds us that well.

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The menu was: Red Beans and Rice, Deep Fried Okra, Jambalaya, and a King Cake.

Kelee’s Jambalaya

Serves 4-6.


* 1 lb. andouille sausage chopped
* 2-4 chicken breasts (cubed either while raw or after cooked but before put in the jambalaya)
* 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (which she left out for me, the sweet lady)
* 1 (15 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon Tabasco
* 3/4 cup rice
* 3 cups chicken stock
* Salt and pepper


Coat chicken with Creole seasoning.
Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery in oil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add sausage to brown. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Add rice and broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Cook chicken in separate pan in oil. Add to jambalaya. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
This is Emeril Lagasse’s Creole Seasoning

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

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