I know some would quibble with my claiming this is “easy”, but really, it is. Its a throw it all in a pot and cook kind of meal. Its easy food for busy days. And its one that everyone in my family will eat. And for days that are busy, this is a meal that is ready to eat come evening. You can set it up the night before, or that morning. I used 2 canned items, but you could sub in fresh stuff.
The original name is “Slowcooker Jambalaya”, but when Little Man was younger, he wouldn’t eat “jambalaya”, he would only eat “jamba”, so Jamba it is. We like this best when it has cooked all day in the slowcooker, or crockpot (as we called it when I was growing up, but I know, its a brand name). I’ll make the recipe printable at the bottom of the post.
Here’s what goes into the Jamba:
- chicken breast, 2 to 4, diced into 1 inch cubes (or so)
- keilbasa, 1 or 2 links
- onion(s), 1 large or 2 medium/small
- 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp of minced garlic, (could sub 1 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine)
- 4 oz can of chopped green peppers (could sub 1 green pepper, diced finely)
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (could sub 5 or 6 tomatoes, chopped finely, reserve juices)
- Creole Seasoning
I’ve read enough cooking blogs to have some idea of how this is done!
First, I always chop and dice in a particular order so that I only need to wash my board and knife once. First is onions and any other veggies, then any cooked meat, and last any raw meat. Once diced, into the crock they go! Work ahead tip: dice a bunch of onions and freeze them. These work just like fresh and it saves you work when you are putting the meal together.
Next, slice the kielbasa in small rounds. Really, if you cut the kielbasa in half long-ways first, then slice into rounds, you’ll have more pieces of kielbasa. And when this is what everyone loves, more pieces makes for happier eaters, right?
Next, and last to cut up, is the chicken breast. This round had 4 breasts in it. But I’ve put as few as 2. You can sub out other meats here, as well. Ham is particularly yummy. Pork works just like chicken. I’ve never tried any seafood, but I expect it would work if you put it in at the end of the cooking time.
And, just in case no one has ever shown you the super easy way to dice a chicken breast into 1 inch cubes, here goes. Slice the breast in half long ways, then, while leaving those 2 slices together, slice the breast into strips. Turn the strips (or the board) and slice again at 90′ from the previous slice. Wa-la! Chicken cubes!
I dump the contents of the two canned items, juice and all, in the pot and plop my convenient already minced garlic in on top. We like the garlic, so I pile in a good Tbsp.
Finally, stir it all well, and set it to cook on low all day (6 to 8 hours), or on high 4 to 5 hours.
The finished product
If you are home, stir occasionally. If not, don’t stress it, you’ll just have to break up masses of cooked meat in the end. Doesn’t effect the flavor at all. I don’t add any of the spices in the crockpot, since everyone has a different sense of what they like. So the creole seasoning goes to the table to be added there. Don’t forget to set your rice maker! Really, everyone should have a rice maker.
And when Mom-mom puts up a table to have space to work on a project, one must be sure to camp out underneath it at some point.
A quick to put together, super yummy crockpot meal for busy days.
- Dice onions, put in crock.
- Slice keilbasa, add to crock.
- Chop and slice chicken (or ham or pork), add to crock
- Add canned items (tomatoes, peppers and garlic)
- Set slowcooker at low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.