The ultimate "come-as-you-are" dish, jambalaya employs whatever food is handy—in this case, quail.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 8 quail (about 2 lbs.), butterflied
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled; 2 whole and 2 minced
- 4-5 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 lb. Cajun andouille, sliced 1⁄4" thick
- 3 cups hot Chicken Stock or water
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
- Season quail with salt and cayenne. Smash whole garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. Rub smashed garlic on quail and discard garlic. Brown quail in vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Cook in batches to ensure even browning, adding more oil as needed. Remove quail from pot as they brown and set aside.
- In the same pot, combine onion, peppers, minced garlic, and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add rice and andouille and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 15–20 minutes. Add quail and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken stock is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
- Fluff rice with a fork and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, stir in scallions and parsley.