Gumbolaya is not something you can walk into a restaurant in New Orleans and order. It is a dish born of a southern friend and I who looked at her already delicious recipe for Gumbo and wondered how we could change it up? Adding elements to make it more of a pilaf, or more precisely a jambalaya, and Gumbolaya was born. There are plenty of minor possible changes in the choices here to get a number of variations.
Timing Note: This is an all-day sort of dish. There are plenty of stretches where it’s cooking merrily in the pot but this is the kind of dish you start in the morning and run it through the day.
- A heavy pot
- Measuring cups
- A slow cooker
- Cutting board
The Shreddable Meat
- 2 pounds of boneless chicken. I prefer breasts to let it absorb all the other flavors going on, but you could also use boneless chicken thigh meat for a different flavor profile.
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oil or melted butter.
- 30 oz of tomato product: Diced tomatoes, salsa, picante sauce, etc.
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 14 oz beer. I prefer to use a root beer with a good flavor profile for this instead of regular beer (e.g. Sprecher’s). You definitely do not want to use Mug or Bud light for this.
- 1-3 cans of chili beans, or the equivalent in vegetables.
- 2-3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 pound diced smoked andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage)
- 1 box orzo
- Make up the roux to a nice peanut butter brown color.
- Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the mixture ingredients to the roux, and combine well.
- Pour #3 over the chicken breasts.
- Cover and cook for 5 hours on high.
- Take the chicken breasts out of the crockpot and transfer to a cutting board They should be falling apart.
- Take forks and shred the chicken well.
- Put the chicken and vegetables into the crockpot.
- Add the Orzo.
- Add the additional liquid. You basically want everything just submerged.
- Cook this for a half hour on high.
- Add diced sausage to crockpot.
- Cook 1 hour 45 minutes. At this point the orzo should be tender and have absorbed the liquid, turning the entire crockpot into a pilaf like mixture of all ingredients.
- Mix well and serve. Some tasty bread and perhaps a salad completes the meal.
- This dish is on base not spicy (my aforementioned friend isn’t tolerant of it). So, a good southern hot sauce on hand for diners to add as they like is a good idea for the pepperheads!
Thanks so much to Paul for contributing this delicious recipe to us!!