I love making fresh, home cooked dinners but it can be a real struggle to find the time to do it sometimes. During the working week my evening meals have to meet a few important criteria. They have to :
Orange Chicken Jambalaya fits the bill perfectly. My version is loosely based on the Louisiana Creole dish, which comprises of vegetables, chicken and rice!
It’s a perfect recipe for fresh summer nights with a juicy, zesty flavour followed by a warm and comforting Tabasco kick. Also, it only takes about 10 minutes to prep, 10 minutes of attended cooking on the hob, then you can simply leave it to bubble away for 20 minutes so that you can get on with more important things.
…or *cough cough* you can just flick through Twitter and Instagram and play around with Snapchat filters. Not that I do that myself… much!
There’s a little bit of chopping to do but over the years I’ve found a number of kitchen hacks to make it a super speedy process. Nothing beats a really sharp knife for making you feel like a chef as you expertly slice and dice but this isn’t Come Dine With Me, so go ahead and chop up your chicken with scissors if you find it easier, I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!
Serves 3 (we freeze a portion for a mid week easy lunch!)
175g basmati rice
1/2 chicken stock cube
2 tsps honey
300 ml water
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 green pepper
2 chicken thighs (skinless and deboned)
Half a packet of chorizo
A bunch of parsley
I’m not great at multitasking so I like to do all of the prep first. That way once it’s done all I need to do is add ingredients to my frypan at the right times and keep stirring when needed!
* De-seed the green pepper, cut it into thin slices and then cut these into small cubes. Then peel your clove of garlic and chop it finely.
Kitchen hack #1: Use a grater instead of a knife (just mind your fingers!)
* Peel your onion, then dice half of it.
Kitchen hack #2: Pop it in a small food processor and pulse it 3 or 4 times to get to the right consistency.
* On a separate chopping board/plate, cut your chicken into bit sized pieces.
Kitchen hack #3: Use a pair of kitchen scissors.
* Chop your chorizo into small cubes (Use Kitchen hack #3!)
* Boil 300 ml of water and add half a chicken stock cube to it, stirring until it’s dissolved.
Now all that the prep is done, it’s time to get cooking!
*Add 2 tsp olive oil to a saucepan on a high heat and once hot, add in the chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes until browned off on all sides. (Olive oil not needed if you’re using a non stick pan).
* Add in the honey and grate over the zest of half of an orange, then stir this through for a couple more minutes.
*Transfer the chicken into bowl and keep it to one side for later.
*Add in the onion with 1 tbsp olive oil and cook it for 3 minutes, then add the green pepper, garlic and chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes.
*Now you can add in the water and stock, tin of tomatoes and the rice. Add some Tabasco sauce (start off at a few drops and add more if you like things with a bit more zing!)
*Squeeze in the juice of half an orange
*Turn the heat down to medium, cover the saucepan and leave it to bubble away for 10 minutes, then remove the lid for another 10 minutes (If you don’t have a lid, use another saucepan).
Your jambalaya should now be looking pretty flipping amazing and your kitchen should smell ah-may-zing! All that’s left to do is chop and stir through a big handful of parsley.
*Dish out the juicy rice goodness and sprinkle on some torn parsley, then tuck in!
We went into the garden to eat ours because the rain stopped for five minutes and it felt lovely and fresh outside – oh summer please can you hang around for a bit longer…maybe not rain quite so much?
Bonus Kitchen Hack!
As a further little kitchen hack, I recommend getting yourself a decent non stick saucepan if you do a lot of cooking on the hob. House of Fraser kindly sent me a heavy duty granite effect frypan* from their Linea range which is perfect for this kind of recipe.
It’s heavy duty with a non stick coating so you can omit all of the oil from the recipe for an even healthier version without fear of anything sticking and it performed like a dream when I used it for this recipe. It made washing up a heck of a lot easier as it just needs a quick dip, wipe and rinse. You can view House of Fraser’s whole range here: www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Pots+Pans*
Up until now I’ve been using a ceramic saucepan which I do love, but I’ve found that after about 6 months of heavy use the coating always starts to come off and then I have to replace it with another one. My new Linea pan feels more hardy and better quality so I’m hoping that it will last me longer in the long run – fingers crossed!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for Orange Chicken Jambalaya, if you give it a go please tweet me a picture or tag me in your instagram shots (@lovedbylaurac) as I’d love to see how you get on!
*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and all views on the PR sample provided are honest and my own.