We drove up to Talkeetna a few weeks ago to visit Denali Brewing for lunch and do a little fishing. While we didn’t have much luck fishing, lunch was definitely a success. I decided to venture away from my usual chicken salad or lettuce wrapped burger and tried their Creamy Cajun: white rice with a creamy tomato sauce topped with chicken, shrimp, and reindeer sausage. It was so good I had to try my own, and I’m pleased to say the first attempt hit the mark!
Paleo Alaska Jambalaya
3 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp. coconut oil, divided
1 can full-fat coconut milk
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. each sea salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
12 oz. kielbasa-style reindeer sausage
12 oz. rockfish, other firm white fish, or shrimp
Extra sea salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, pour in 3/4 c. of the chicken broth. Add the chicken thighs, cover, bring up to a boil on medium heat, then turn down to a simmer. Turn off heat when just cooked through.
2. While the chicken is simmering, grate the raw cauliflower into “rice” using a box grater. Melt 1 tbsp. of the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, add the cauli and stir to mix the oil through, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the remaining broth to the cauli 1/4 cup at a time, stirring each until absorbed before adding the next. Turn to low to keep warm.
4. In a small saucepan, whisk the coconut milk and tomato paste together over medium heat. Add all of the spices (sea salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper) and continue to whisk until just bubbling. Pour the sauce into the cauliflower and stir well.
5. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the meat and separate it from the bone and skin (discard them or stick them in the freezer to use for making chicken broth later).
6. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and slice the sausage into rounds.
7. Melt the last 1 tbsp. of coconut oil in a pan (last one!) over medium. Add the fish and stir until just cooked through. Add the chicken and sausage and cook until the edges of the meats just begin to crisp. Season with sea salt and pepper.
8. To serve, scoop about 3/4 cup of the cauliflower mixture in a bowl and top with about 1/2 cup of the meats. Garnish with parsley.