Smoked Sausage & Turkey Jambalaya | Zephyr Foods

Smoked Sausage & Turkey Jambalaya

You may have noticed we've been teasing a new line of all-natural smoked sausages that Zephyr Foods will soon be launching (we promise, they're coming!) Our goal with this line is all-natural products that also deliver on taste. To get the products just right, as part of our research and development process, we had to test the flavor with friends and family to make sure we were knocking it out of the park. We also wanted to make sure we had a versatile product - a smoked sausage that could be used in recipes just as easily as it could be thrown on the grill. 

A couple of months ago we gave our friend, Bryan, some samples to try. To understand why we went to him, you have to understand Bryan. He's a phenomenal cook. We know. We've eaten at his house! He also knows how to feed a crowd. He's well-known for his amazing gumbo and jambalaya feeds.

The question we had for Bryan was, "Can you use these smoked sausages in traditional favorites and still please the masses?"
Jambalaya Base Prep
Bryan graciously agreed to give them a try in his famous jambalaya. He got to work with some leftover turkey and fresh smoked sausages from Zephyr Foods. 

His adorable helper made sure the Cajun Holy Trinity (onions, celery, and bell pepper), imperative for many classic Cajun dishes, was cooked to perfection. 
Jambalaya Ingredients Simmering
Building on the fantastic flavor the Trinity imparts in Cajun cooking, Bryan tosses in the sausages. And for a little more flare, he throws in some Ghost in the Machine New England IPA from Parish Brewing Company out of Broussard, LA. Here's a pro tip from our masterful cook: always cook with something you like to drink so you can enjoy one while you cook, and add one to the pot. (Sounds like wise words to us!)

Another pro tip from Bryan as these ingredients come together is to taste the liquid before salting! The liquid will be absorbed into the rice, and the flavor will intensify, so it's important to taste while salting. If you make your liquid too salty, the entire pot of jambalaya will come out extra salty. Make it flavorful, but not too much. Trust him. This will help your dish shine on the other side! 

His final tip for success is to stir while the rice cooks to prevent burning. If at any point during cooking you feel sticking, this means burning. You don't want that. But, once you cook the rice and cover the pot, then it's NO TOUCHING until the timer goes off. We reiterate the importance of these tips in the recipe directions below. That's how serious we take his advice!
Smoked Sausage and Turkey Jambalaya
Now that the jambalaya has been served and enjoyed, we go back to our initial question. Are these new smoked sausages from Zephyr Foods flavorful, versatile AND a winner with a crowd? According to Bryan and his sous chef, they are indeed!

We have a special treat in honor of Fat Tuesday today. Below we have Bryan's winning jambalaya recipe for all to enjoy!

Jambalaya

Yield
10-12 Servings
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time
45 Min-1 Hour
Total Time
1 hr-1 hr, 15 min
Ingredients
3 (12 oz.) packages Zephyr Smoked Sausages, sliced and cubed
2 medium to large white onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced (or whatever color you have on hand!)
6 celery heart sticks, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 ½ lbs. leftover turkey breast and leg meat, chopped 
  (boneless, skinless chicken thighs can also be used, note added cooking time if cooking from raw)
3 c. unsalted chicken stock
2 c. unsalted vegetable stock
12 oz. beef (use additional stock if you prefer not to use beer)
2 Tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
1 ½ tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
2 Tbsp. salt
4 c. Basmati rice
Directions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven, sear the smoked sausages over medium-high heat. Remove from pot and set aside. Add Cajun Holy Trinity (onions, bell peppers, and celery) and butter to the pot. Sweat over medium heat, until onions are almost translucent. Be sure Trinity deglazes the bottom of the pot. Use a wooden or metal spatula to help this process along. 
  2. If using leftover fully cooked chicken or turkey, add that and sausages back to the pot. If using uncooked chicken thighs, roughly chop and add to the pot, allowing to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot (remember, sticking means burning!) After cooking chicken thighs, add smoked sausages to the pot as well. 
  3. Now that Trinity, turkey/chicken and sausages are in the pot, add stocks, beer, garlic powder, peppers and Cajun seasoning, stirring occasionally...to prevent sticking. Pause just before you add the beer. Is it one you love? Now, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Remember Bryan's tip. Taste your liquid. Salt to taste, but not too much. Just to be safe, taste it a few more times throughout salting. 
  4. Once at a boil, add the rice. Continue to stir. Why? Everyone together now - it prevents burning! Bring liquid back to a boil for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. Now, set the timer and wait. Bryan knows you've been stirring, but now it's NO TOUCHING!
  5. When the timer goes off, turn off heat. Run your spatula down the inside walls of the bot until you hit the bottom. Once there, pull back slightly on the handle, which causes the jambalaya to crack and release the trapped steam. Rotate the pot and repeat this process two more times. Re-cover, letting this pot of perfection rest for another 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Top with minced parsley and serve. With Bryan's help, you have now won Fat Tuesday!  

About the Author

Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD
Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD: Jill Turley is the Chief Creative Officer at Real Noshes. She is a registered dietitian, joyous eater, lover of the kitchen and fan of keeping life simple. She resides in Northwest Arkansas and is mom to a four-year-old whackadoodle and equally whacky bernedoodle. Follow her food adventures on Instagram @realnoshes and check-out www.realnoshes.com for more resources and kitchen fun.
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