Farm Girl Jambalaya…

  With yesterday being Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Mardi Gras I thought about all the great foods that go along with it. So I decided at the last minute to make my own unique Jambalaya. Without making a trip to the market I found what I needed in the freezer and in my pantry to make a Jambalaya with a northern farm girl twist. 

The only difference I made was to use bratwursts in place of sausage and wild rice in place of traditional white rice. The brats I used were from a market in my home town Bucyrus, they make a wonderful traditional German brat. These were the ones I grew up with on the farm. They have a distinctive flavor but are very close to sausage. The wild rice was a nice twist, it gave it a different texture and a whole grain taste.  
By The Gourmet Farm Girl

1 1/2  quarts water
1 14.5 low sodium chicken broth
1 pound smoked ham (with bone)
   or add pre-cooked smoked ham when adding the other meat
4 -5 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
1 teaspoons brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon French tarragon
4 chicken thighs
1/2 pound bratwursts links
1 medium onion chopped
1 leek chopped
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 bay leaves
splash of white wine
1 cup wild rice
Hot Sauce or hot pepper flakes

In a large stock pot bring the water and broth to a boil and add the ham bone, cover and cook over medium heat for 45-50 minutes or until the meat pulls from the bone; remove bone and meat and allow to cool.

Add to the broth the garlic, mustard seed, basil, parsley, tarragon and chicken thighs; cover and cook over medium low heat for 45- 50 minutes or until the meat pulls from the bones. Remove from heat and strain; reserving the broth; allow chicken to cool.

Add the onion, leek, pepper, and bay leaves to the broth; reduce heat to simmer, tilt the lid and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

While the broth simmers, pick the meat from the ham bone and pull the chicken from the bones; add to the broth. Cook the bratwurst in a small skillet until just cooked through; 12-15 minutes. Remove and slice into bite size pieces, add to the broth.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and add to pot. Add the rice and a pinch of pepper flakes; cover and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Note: do not remove the lid during this time; if the rice needs to cook longer cover it again for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Serve with additional hot pepper flakes or hot sauce.

Makes 8-10 servings