Jambalaya Casserole
For the Creole Seasoning
  1. For the Creole Seasoning: Place all the ingredients in a small jar and shake well to combine.
  2. For the Casserole: Cut the chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces (I like to use scissors), place them on a plate and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning. Leave chicken to sit while you get on with things.
  3. Cut the bacon into small pieces (again, scissors are handy) and place in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy, then remove it to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels to drain. While the bacon is cooking, finely dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then into pieces about as thick as a nickel.
  4. When you remove the bacon from the pot, drop in the chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes until just sealed and lightly browned. Remove the chicken back to the plate with a slotted spoon. Drop the sausage into the pan and cook until it is browning, getting crispy, and beginning to curl up. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Drain away all but ¼ cup of the fat. Add the diced onion, pepper, and celery to the remaining fat, sprinkle over another tablespoon of creole seasoning, then sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, and bay leaves and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and broth and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the sauce to simmer, then return the chicken to the pot. Stir in the sausage and rice to combine well and bring back to a low bubble. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes, stirring, until the rice is tender and some of the liquid has been absorbed. Bring back to a simmer and drop in the beans and the cooked bacon and stir. Remove the bay leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool. At this point, the mixture will be a little soupy, but the liquid will be absorbed as it rests. Spoon the casserole into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the casserole.
  5. The casserole will keep wrapped tightly up to 2 days in the fridge.
  6. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the dish on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes until heated through.