TODAY   |  May 21, 2010

Jambalaya jamboree

Ritz-Carlton executive chef Matt Murphy, who survived a close brush with death, prepares different twists on this New Orleans staple.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> them today at chili's.

>>> in this morning's "today's kitchen," from the farm to the table. that's the food of thought. at ritz-carlton in the wonderful city of new orleans , chef matt murphy is making unbelievably smelling jumbalaya . matt had a health care about six months ago but we're great to see you back on your feet. feeling all right?

>> i love being in the kitchen. i love cooking. it's been like a recovery in the kitchen.

>> you live in new orleans but your accent is clearly not --

>> i'm originally from ireland but i've lived in new orleans for 12 years.

>> you know the people.

>> i know the taste, i know the food.

>> we're starting with a bunch of shrimp here. folks watching are wondering how is the seafood. what's the latest there.

>> everybody's worried about the seafood. we thought we'd do a shrimp and chicken jumbalaya . these are shrimp i just got out of the gulf the other day. we're worried about how they're going to contain this oil but the fishermen, too, both leisure guys that want to take people out fishing, just don't cancel your trip, this is their livelihood. the fishermen, the gulf is pretty good. they have to travel farther to get the seafood but it's a big worry.

>> let's cook. it smells so good. jumbalaya is a new orleans staple. yours is a little bit unique. tell us about this.

>> jumbalaya is like whatever you got, put together.

>> throw it in.

>> we're doing seafood, shrimp and chicken. i've heard of vegetarian jumbalaya . dutch jumbalaya . it goes across the board. i got some trinity, which is on onio onions, celery and peppers. garlic. chicken. i'm using chicken thighs. they have so much flavor. it actually holds up better rather than using chicken breasts. you got to have this sausage. it is a smoked pork sausage . we'll add that in. once have you all those ingredients in, we'll have this right in here.

>> stewed tomatoes?

>> yes.

>> and fresh tomatoes. why both?

>> i'll need some rice.

>> how come you used both kinds of tomatoes?

>> we've got the stewed tomatoes and diced tomatoes . we're going to sit that in there, let that cook.

>> how long do you let that sit?

>> that's going to basically start stewing that, throw in a little bit of stock.

>> let's do a big reveal because this is so beautiful. hold on. look at this. look at this. go, look. come on! come on! come on! what's better than that? i'm going to stir this up for you.

>> we added in our rice. we'll let that cook down.

>> look at that.

>> you end up with that. this cooks for about 40 minutes.

>> tell us about this shrimp you've got here, this barbecued, matt. we've got about a minute or so.

>> barbecued shrimp is a famous dish in new orleans so you got to come down and try it.

>> it's not traditional barbecue sauce that you put on ribs.

>> not traditional. use garlic, rosemary, a little beer.

>> i can just say something? unbelievable. we got to get to a little bit of our dessert. what are you making here?

>> we call it a plantation sticky topping pudding.

>> it's heaven.

>> warm it in the oven. serve with ice cream .

>> look who's just in time. wait, al? that jumbalaya is crazy. you know how to cook, matt.

>> well, hopefully.

>> whoa.

>> you got to try the sticky topping pudding.

>> matt, thank you.