Jambalaya is most strongly associated with Louisiana, though friends from Mississippi claim it as their own. Every person who makes jambalaya has his or her own secret recipe — and, if you spend about five minutes searching for recipes on Google, you will discover dozens of variations of this classic dish.
Put another way: this recipe is just a starting point for your own version of jambalaya. My recipe anticipates you will have plenty of time to cook this dish…but, as you will see, there are plenty of opportunities to speed up the meal if time is short.
There are two major types of jambalaya: Creole, which contains tomato and is often associated with New Orleans, Cajun, which relies upon browned veggies and meat for a wonderful smoky flavor. My recipe blends the best of both styles, featuring chicken, spicy andouille sausage, and, when it’s on sale, shrimp.
Needless to say, jambalaya is a great party dish because the recipe can easily be doubled. It’s also a great dish for crockpots.
Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya
By April 28, 2013Published:
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Prep: 30 mins
- Cook: 60 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 45 mins
While a bit of work, this gluten-free recipe is worth the effort. Especially since you'll have leftovers to enjoy for lunch!
- 8 ounces boneless chicken cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic minced (optional, but always tasty)
- 1 jalapeno minced (optional, but great if you like heat)
- 8 ounces andouille sausage cut into 1/4
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 28-ounce can chopped, peeled tomatoes mostly drained
- 1 cup medium grain white rice uncooked
- 2 cups chicken stock or water
- 1/2 pound shrimp peeled (optional)
- Pat the chicken dry. Mix together the salt, oregano, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder to make a spice mix. Season the chicken with the spice mix (it’s okay if you have leftover spices, you can use it later to adjust the flavor of your jambalaya, or use it another time). Set the chicken aside.
- Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery (see Notes). If you’re including fresh jalapeno, add it now. Cook until the veggies are well-browned (about 15 to 20 minutes). Add the garlic toward the end of your browning process. Stir often and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits into your veggies.
- Add the sausage to the pot. Cook until the sausage is nicely browned. Remember to continue scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. They add wonderful flavor.
- Add the chicken and cooked until well-browned, about 8 − 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and a bit of the juice. Check your seasonings and adjust if you’d like (there will be time to do more taste testing later, so don’t worry).
- Add the rice, mixing well into the meat and vegetables. Add your water or chicken stock, stir well to combine, and bring the whole thing to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let cook 20 − 30 minutes — until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Give your jambalaya one more taste test. If you are adding shrimp, go ahead and add it now. Continue cooking until the shrimp has turned opaque and is cooked through. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 − 10 minutes, serve.