Jambalaya is one of my all-time favourite meals. As a result, I end up making way more than I can possibly eat.
To avoid wasting food (especially food I love) I freeze it. So many people I speak to don’t realise that you can actually freeze jambalaya.
Jambalaya can be frozen in much the same way as other, similar, dishes. Simply place it into a container or a bag, and then allow it to cool to room temperature. When it’s cool, place it in the freezer, and it will freeze with time.
Best Time To Freeze Jambalaya
Don’t leave your jambalaya out on the side for too long, however, as it could pick up contaminants from the air. This is a problem for any dishes of similar makeup, which are basic ingredients in a broth.
As you can’t be too sure what nutrients exactly are in the broth, it’s a good idea not to leave it out for too long lest you invite unwelcome germs and bacteria to your dish.
How To Freeze Jambalaya
There are two ways to freeze jambalaya, in a container, or in some food-safe bags. Regardless of which method you choose you’ll need to leave the jambalaya to cool first.
If you’re opting for a container, then try to use an airtight one. If you do that, then try to remove as much air as you can from the vessel before sealing it.
If you’re using freezer bags, then it’s worth double-bagging to minimize on freezer burn and insulate your jambalaya better. Place your jambalaya into a bag, and then press out as much air as you can. Place that first bag into a second bag, and seal. Then, place it into the freezer.
The reason you want to remove as much air as possible is that you want to avoid your food oxidizing while it’s in the freezer. If that happens, then the taste of your food may be affected when you come to defrost and eat it.
How To Defrost Jambalaya
You can defrost jambalaya in two ways: in the microwave or on the stovetop.
If you opt to use the microwave, place your frozen jambalaya into a microwave-safe container, cover with a damp towel and place it in the microwave with a glass of water to stop the jambalaya from drying out.
Microwave the mixture in thirty-second increments, stirring after every increment until it comes out steaming hot. Your food will then be fully defrosted and safe to eat!
If you’re reheating your jambalaya on the stovetop, you have two options. One of them is that you can place the frozen jambalaya directly into a pot and allow it to heat over low flame. Make sure to add a little water so you don’t burn your food.
Your other option is to place the bag or tub into boiling water. In that case, you can keep the water boiling over a low flame, and the jambalaya will slowly heat through. Periodically, remove the container from the water bath, and test its temperature. It should be steaming hot before you eat it.
How To Reheat Jambalaya
There are 3 main ways you can reheat jambalaya, these ways are all safe to do and easy to do.
The first way to reheat jambalaya is by using the microwave. Start by making sure the jambalaya is in a microwave safe container, make sure your jambalaya is defrosted before reheating.
Place a damp towel or piece of kitchen paper towel over the top on the container before placing in the microwave. Smaller portions may only take 30 seconds to 1minute. Larger portions may take longer anything up to 3-4 minutes. Check the food is piping hot before eating.
The second way to reheat your jambalaya is by using your oven, again make sure your jambalaya has been thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
Before putting it in the oven place the jambalaya in a oven proof dish, add in a splash of broth or water to stop the jambalaya from drying out.
Cover the oven proof dish with aluminium foil and place in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes at 300 F.
The last way to reheat jambalaya is using the stovetop. Make sure the jambalaya has been thoroughly defrosted before cooking, though this technique works well for fresh leftover jambalaya too.
Use a suitable size frying pan or wok to fit in the portion of jambalaya. Heat the pan on medium heat until the food starts to heat through. During the cooking process make sure to add a splash of broth or water to stop the food from drying out.
How To Tell If Jambalaya Has Gone Bad
Jambalaya is made up of two main components: the meat and the rice.
In order to tell if the meat in your jambalaya has gone bad, then your best bet is to smell it. If it smells anything other than fresh, it isn’t worth risking food poisoning, simply throw it out and make something else.
Rice can be a little more tricky to figure out. If it’s left out for sufficiently long, it may start to develop a bad smell, but it will likely be bad long before that. A good way to tell could be by noticing the texture of the rice.
As your rice is stored in the fridge it will dry out slowly, even if it’s in an airtight container. If you’ve left rice in the freezer for a sufficiently long time, it will become very hard and dry. If your rice has reached this stage, then it will be unsafe to eat.