Have you ever made a dish so incredibly good but at a loss as to what to call it? That was my predicament. I had an intense craving for some type of a one-pot rice dish so turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Now let me tell you, Pinterest has become my guilty pleasure. Once my son goes to sleep at 8 pm, I return the house to order, grab my Kindle and the remote and sink into a mindless zone of pinning and watching reality TV. It helps me to unwind, and ever so often a glass of wine/rum is thrown into the mix.
As I was browsing Pinterest and the endless rice dishes, I was drawn to Jambalaya and Pelau. Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish with French, Spanish and Caribbean influences that’s a mixture of rice, meat, spices and vegetables. Pelau, which hails from the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, is a mixture of meat, beans, vegetables, coconut milk and spices. Both were equally as enticing, so what was a girl to do? I took a little inspiration from both dish and made a Jam-Pelau-alaya…..that’s what I’m calling it. 50 percent Caribbean and 50 percent Louisina but 100 percent delicious. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients because this is truly a simply dish to make and it only requires one pot. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I may or may not have had 3 bowls back to back. Yes it’s that good.
Chicken, Shrimp and Chorizo “Pelau”
8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ lb chorizo sausage, cut into thin slices
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp canola oil
¼ cup sugar
1 bay leaf
8 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp ketch
1 cup coconut milk
2 ½ cup chicken stock
2 ½ cup long grain rice
4 scallion, finely chopped
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
Seasoning for Shrimp and Chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated onion powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
1. Place shrimp and chicken in two separate bowls then add half seasoning mixture to shrimp and half to the chicken and set aside.
2. In a large pot over medium heat, add canola oil and sugar. Cook until sugar has melted and become a dark brown (not black). It is important to watch the pot because once the sugar melts it can burn rather quickly.
3. Next add chicken and chorizo to the pot and stir to coat with the sugar mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, ketchup and bay leaf to the meat mixture then stir. Cook until vegetables have soften, about 5 minutes.
4. Next add rice, coconut milk, chicken stock and scallion. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
5. Remove cover and add shrimp on top of the rice, then cover pot once again and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes. By adding the shrimp last will guarantee perfectly cooked shrimp, if cooked too long it will become rubbery.
6. Next remove from heat and stir well. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.