Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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  My green-eyed Irish guy is in Ohio at school for work this week so I’ve been making dishes that I know he wouldn’t eat, but G and  I would love.  Staying busy in the kitchen this week is a way of trying to keep the loneliness away.  It hasn’t been very successful at that job but I’m trying. 😦  We’ve been inseparable for over 10 years now.  Let’s go in the way back machine.    Remember that from Mr. Peabody and Sherman?

We met on-line way back when Yahoo had chat rooms.  There were good points and bad points about them.  We were both in an Indiana chat room, neither of us joining in on the chatter, just watching everyone else.  This green-eyed Irish guy sent me a private message saying hello.  Little did either of us know then, but we had each other at that hello.  We talked every day but one (the day after we first spoke) for a month before we decided to meet.  We did have a logistical obstacle.  He lived all the way across the top of Indiana on the west side and I lived all the way across the top of Indiana on the east side.  He drove 150 miles for that first date at Applebee’s on February 25, 2005.  And I was late.  I had warned him I might be because I had to pick up one of the girls after work.  Even though I told her I needed her to be on time coming out of work, she was expected to work well past her shift because she was one of their hardest workers.  I called him, apologizing for my tardiness, reassuring him I wasn’t standing him up.  I’ll never forget walking in to Applebee’s, peering around the corner to the bench where he was sitting.  I thought, “Oh my God!  He’s hot!”  In the pictures that I’d seen of him, he’d always worn a ball cap.  Those pictures did not do him justice.  I wore my heavy artillery aka a “booby shirt”.  We sat down, ordered our food and started talking.  And talking.  And talking.  The waitress kept coming around asking if the food was ok because we hadn’t touched it.  Finally after the third time asking, he told her we were on our first date.  The light bulb came on for her and she left us alone. We talked until they closed, food still untouched and packed into to-go containers.  He installed ATMs all over Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and I think the Dakotas as well, but  he also installed machines in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and Pennsylvania while we were dating.  He would drive to these states, install a machine and drive back sometimes 500 miles to be with me.  Then he had colon surgery which went terribly wrong and resulted in two additional surgeries including a colostomy bag for a couple of months.  I almost lost him twice during that time.  The first surgery left him septic inside so the colostomy was needed.  When they reconnected everything, his large and small intestines had fused together and the surgeon punctured them several times trying to get them apart.  The surgery was supposed to take an hour or an hour and a half at the most but it took three and a half agonizing hours.  Then the surgeon said all we can do is wait and see.  I cried in the bathroom for a while and then called his Mom.  She had always called me his “friend” until this point.  Now she knew how much I really loved him and totally accepted me because she knew she didn’t have to worry about me breaking her son’s heart.  We got married on Oct. 8, 2006 on Hudson Beach in Florida with the two youngest children in attendance.  And that very morning our first grandchild was born.  What a glorious day!  We’ve lived a lot and loved a lot in the past 10 years.  There’s that saying, “I wish I would have found you sooner so I could love you longer”, but I just say thank God we found each other.  I’ll certainly be one happy good witch when he gets back Friday night.  I miss you honey.

   Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

14 oz. skinless smoked sausage, sliced into “coins”

5 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 small onion, diced small

2 stalks celery, diced small

1 red pepper, diced small

1 yellow pepper, diced small

1 tsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbs. tomato paste

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (add more if you like more spice)

pinch red pepper flakes

14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

32 oz. carton chicken stock or broth

1 3/4 cup rice

a few drops of hot pepper sauce (optional)

Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil on medium heat in a Dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Brown on all sides until it’s no longer pink on the outside.  This is not to cook it through, so it will still be raw inside.  It will cook later with the rice.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add another 1-2 Tbs. olive oil to the Dutch oven.  Brown the sausage for 2-3 minutes.  Now add the vegetables-onion, celery, peppers and garlic.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften.  Add the tablespoon of tomato paste.  Stir that around for a minute.  Now add the spices.  Cook for a minute until fragrant.  Add the chicken, tomatoes, chicken stock and rice.  Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

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About glendaclark

Hi there! My name is Glenda and I love food. Cooking and baking are my creative outlets. You'll find me in the kitchen laughing, singing, dancing and cooking or baking. I'm wife to my green eyed Irish guy, mother of four and grandmother of four. These are the chronicles of life as Glenda, the good witch of cake. Warning: may contain cartoon moments, butter and sugar.

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