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Seafood Jambalaya
From New Orleans Seafood Cookbook, by Andrew Jaeger and John DeMers

Besides providing Hank Williams with a title for one of his most famous songs, jambalaya provides New Orleanians with a basic recipe into which they can toss virtually anything in the refrigerator. Here's one of our favorite versions:

Ingredients:

1/4 pound margarine
3 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped green bell peppers
1 pound small (50 to 60 count) raw shrimp, peeled
1 pound chicken breast, boned, skinned, and cut into bite-size cubes
1 pound andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced into discs
3 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons blackening seasoning
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 bay leaves
4 cups crushed canned tomatoes, with juice
2 quarts chicken stock
2 pounds white rice

Instructions:

Melt the margarine and sauté the onions, celery, and peppers over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, chicken, and sausage, sautéing until the chicken is cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the rice and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil again, and then turn off the heat and allow the stew to sit until the rice absorbs all of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Fluff the stew with a fork and serve hot in individual bowls.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

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