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Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.

Grilling: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

Ever since making a Sunday gravy on the grill, I've been considering similar things that may seem far-fetched to cook over a live fire, but could also benefit from the smoky and charred flavors. Chicken and sausage jambalaya seemed like a good contender, so I gave it go.

In this recipe, I made use of the grill by cooking Creole-spiced chicken thighs, andouille, and tomatoes over the flames. From there, the holy trinity—onion, green pepper, and celery—was sauteed in a pot, followed by the additions of the grilled tomatoes, tasso ham, chicken stock, rice, and seasonings which were simmered until the rice cooked. (The excess heat of the grill can used for this part of the process as well, but since you're not adding anything in terms of flavor from cooking over coals, it can also be completed on the stovetop.) The chicken was then pulled and sausages sliced and added into the mix.

The final jambalaya was incredible. I'm admittedly new to Cajun and Creole cuisine, so I may be overly impressionable, but the explosion of flavor was instantly compelling with an interplay between meaty, fresh, and spicy. The large quantity of sausage and chicken made the grill well represented, giving a hint of smoke and distinctive crisp charred bits here and there. While I thought this would mainly make me more eager to adapt additional sauces, stews, and the like for the grill, it ended up awakening a desire to explore more Cajun and Creole cuisine first.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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