MR. GAME & WATCH - Jambalaya-inspired Chicken & Seafood Black Rice Skillet
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
You asked for it - I ran a poll on Twitter to determine which retro fighter I should gourmet-ify first, and a resounding majority voted for Smash's vintage fighter, Mr. Game & Watch! Did I do this wacky fellow justice? You be the judge!
Mr. Game & Watch is a very atypical and abstract fighter, so I had a tough time coming up with a good starting place for this recipe. That is, until I remembered the one Game & Watch game that revolved around food - Chef! This game has the player control a chef who's tasked with flipping different foods with a frying pan, including sausages, fish, and pieces of chicken. I wanted to include all of these ingredients in the recipe, which lead me to the only dish I know which contains chicken, sausage, and seafood all at once... jambalaya! I also drew inspiration from paella, a similar dish of Spanish origin. Fittingly, both dishes are traditionally prepared in a skillet, similar to the one that our little two-dimensional chef wields.
I used black rice, as well as a dash of squid ink in the sauce, to give this dish a striking, deep black colour, befitting the monochromatic look of the Game & Watch's LCD screen. The ink is also a nod to another Game & Watch game, Octopus! I figured I'd go one step further and add octopus to our roster of proteins in this dish.
Who knew that such a simplistic-looking character could inspired such a bountiful meal? Mr. Game & Watch may be flat, but the flavours in this dish certainly are not!
3 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cubed
2 links smoked sausage, such as andouille, chorizo, or kielbasa
2 fish fillets, cubed (trout, bass, tilapia, or catfish would work well)
½ pound peeled and de-veined shrimp
½ pound octopus tentacles, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, if you want it spicy)
Salt and pepper
3 cups fish or seafood broth
½ cup white wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 14 oz can diced plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups black rice
1 tbsp squid ink (if possible – it can be difficult to find and is also expensive, so feel free to leave it out)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 green onion, chopped
Handful of parsley leaves, chopped
Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a pot or a large deep skillet. Cook cubed chicken breasts over medium heat until fully cooked, transfer to a bowl. Add sliced sausage to the same skillet and cook until browned, then transfer to a bowl. Continue with each protein, cooking in the skillet one by one until completely cooked through, and then setting aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and add chopped onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add paprika, thyme, basil, oregano, mustard powder, cayenne pepper (if desired), and salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.
Add rice into the sofrito mixture and top with seafood broth, canned tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and squid ink. Toss in a bay leaf and stir together. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower to a simmer, cooking for about 30 minutes until rice is thoroughly cooked.
Once rice is fully cooked and the sauce has reduced and thickened (you don’t want it to be liquid-y or soupy), add the chicken, sausages, and seafood back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with green onion and parsley, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.