Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya


*Note: for the smoked sausage, you can use smoked kielbasa or similar type smoked sausages. If you choose a leaner sausage, like turkey or chicken, you may need to add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot in the first step when cooking the chicken and sausage together since the lean sausage won't render as much fat.

*Serves 6

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 pound chicken (about 2 average-sized boneless skinless chicken breasts or the equivalent of another kind of cut, like thighs), cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium bell pepper (red or green), chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (use a light hand with this if you don't want it overly spicy)

1 can (10-ounces) Rotel tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups hot, steamed rice

Just a tip: start cooking the rice while you prepare the rest of the jambalaya so it is ready to add in during the last step.

In a 4-6 quart pot, cook sausage and poultry over medium heat. Drain the grease (you may only need to do this if you aren't using a lean sausage), scrape the meat onto a plate and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pot. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the vegetables, basil and Creole (or Cajun) seasoning, and the Rotel tomatoes and sugar. Stir well. Simmer the mixture over low or medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are mostly tender (they'll continue to cook a few minutes longer in the next step). Add the sausage and chicken back to the pot, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in the hot, steamed rice until you achieve your desired consistency.