A one pot meal packed with chunks of andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp, simmered within a flavorful tomato-based rice. This New Orleans classic, much similar to what many Caribbean natives know as "cook up rice" or the traditional "paella". Coincidentally, the dish was actually created during an attempt to prepare the Spanish staple. However, the lack of saffron led cooks to substitute the fine spice for tomatoes.
thus, the Cajun favorite was born, with flavors that ignite the palate.
I love this dish because it is not only filling but it can definitely feed a crowd.
Grab a bowl, a spoon & an apron!
Let’s get started!
Meats: For this recipe we will be incorporating three different meats including andouille sausage, shrimp and chicken. I chose to utilize chicken thighs opposed to the breasts because of their higher fat content, which makes them inherently more flavorful and the simply fact that they won't dry out as chicken breasts often do.
Rice: The topic of rice is usually one of pure preference, for this recipe although long-grain is preferred it can be a bit unpredictable when gauging the liquid to rice ratio. For this reason, I used parboiled rice — if you’re a novice in the kitchen I would recommend using this because it's much easier to cook and the ratio is usually 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice. If you are a seasoned cook, feel free to used your desired preference — just be aware that the liquid measurements will vary.
Aromatics & Seasonings: In this recipe, i did not hold back on the aromatics and seasonings. Along with the "holy trinity" ( onions, garlic and celery), I also incorporated a red and green bell pepper for color and flavor. In addition, there is an array of seasonings, all contributing to the layers of flavor we want to create.
My most important tip for this recipe & anything you'll ever cook:
Always remember to taste your food,
if you prefer, less heat, less seasonings or even the option to omit an ingredient. It is completely up to you!
You're the chef.
How to Make:
Classic New Orleans Jambalaya
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
14oz (or 2 whole) andouille sausages
1 lb chicken thighs (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/2 large red bell pepper *diced
1/2 large green bell pepper *diced
1 yellow onion *diced
2 stalks celery *diced
4 cloves garlic *minced
2 tomatoes *diced (you can also substitute for a 16oz can of diced tomatoes)2-3 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2-3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (completely optional, Cajun seasoning can be a bit spicy but if you prefer a little more heat, feel free.)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
3 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp tomato paste
7 cups chicken stock (almost two 32oz cartons)
3 cups parboiled rice
1 lb peeled & deveined shrimp
2 green onions *sliced
3 sprigs of cilantro *leaves picked
When preparing your chicken thighs, rinse with lukewarm water prior to cubing. Once cubed into 1 inch pieces, rinse chicken once again with the addition of vinegar or the juice of one lime. After cleaning chicken, season lightly with 1 tsp of Cajun, 1/2 salt and 1/4 tsp paprika.
Prior to adding rice, rinse with with cold water. This process removes excess starch from the rice.
Heat pan to medium-high heat, add olive oil.
Add andouille sausage and allow to brown for about 4 minutes. Then add seasoned cubed chicken thighs and cook for about 3 minutes before adding aromatics.
Add diced bell peppers, onion and celery. Stir well then add minced garlic (Garlic tends to burn when added too early, adding it after the aromatics preserves the flavor and fragrance). Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, then sprinkle in Cajun seasoning, salt, oregano, cayenne pepper, ground allspice, garlic powder and paprika, taste as you go and adjust to your preference .
Thoroughly mix in tomato paste and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth, then stir in rice. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Add shrimp and stir gently. Cover and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until rice is tender.
Serve immediately, garnished with sliced green onions and cilantro.