We were rooting around in the freezer awhile back trying to ward off starvation and seeing which frozen meat packets we’d spirited in from Acadiana still held promise.
We found a log of Andouille from St John The Baptist Parish, a few smoked chicken wings and a sandwich bag filled with Hatch chiles. The peppers mark the end of the case we bought in Texas in September and roasted before trundling them home to New Orleans.
Time to hit the test kitchen.
The best Hatch chiles taste like watermelon. They have a slow, lingering heat that is just shy of jalapeno level. They’re mild and fruity and take on a beefy characteristic when charred over hardwood fires. Never buy your chiles pre-roasted. The ones at Central Market and HEB are always over-cooked til the poor pepper has zero flavor left in it. Take the time and roast your own; preferably over a good Hickory or Oak fire.
Recipe For Smoked Chicken Jambalaya With Andouille Sausage And Roasted Hatch Chiles
4 each chicken wings, smoked, meat stripped from bones, reserve bones for future stocks
8 oz, sausage, Andouille, chopped
6 each chiles, Hatch, chopped (use Poblanos or Bells if Hatch is not available)
4 each, onions, green, chopped
1 c. rice (I use Toro brand)
2 c. stock, pork or chicken (we’ve embarked on a journey toward Master Stock)
* Saute’ chicken, green onions, sausage and chiles in hot bacon fat for 10 minutes in heavy bottom two quart sauce pan
* Add stock and bring to boil
* Slowly sprinkle rice into boiling stock
* Place lid on sauce pan, reduce heat, cook 15 minutes, cut heat, let rest 10 minutes
* Turn jambalaya out of pan into large bowl
* Fluff with two forks, serve immediately
* Garnish with finely chopped green onions, a little coarse salt and Crystal Hot Sauce
This jambalaya will not be that much better than the best you ever had
More from our test kitchen: