We always make Jambalaya around Mardi Gras, but it makes a great meal anytime of the year! “Jambalaya was the first dish I made for my husband when we were dating… and I didn’t even know he was Cajun! It looks complicated, but it’s really not. The amounts and choices of meats (proteins) can be adjusted to your taste. Want to make Shrimp Jambalaya? Use 1-1/2 pounds of shrimp and omit the other proteins. Same thing for Chicken Jambalaya. I usually add all four proteins, and I recommend using Andouille sausage for a more authentic flavor. If you skip the sausage, be sure to add extra hot sauce. Tabasco is the traditional sauce to use.”
|30 minutes or longer|
Moderate to Expensive, depending on the proteins
Serving Size:1 cup
Don't let the long list of ingredients and instructions scare you. It's somewhat involved compared to our other recipes, but it's still a fairly simple dish to put together. The number of servings are based on using three of the proteins, in the amounts stated, but it will vary depending on your final additions.
Tools:measuring cups and spoons, colander, large (4-quart) saucepan, small and medium bowls, knife and cutting board, large (10-inch) skillet
- 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
- 1/2 pound shrimp
- 1 cup chopped ham (about 8 ounces)
- 1 (12-ounce) package smoked Andouille sausage or similar
- 1 small onion
- 1 tablespoons butter or grease from sausage
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- hot pepper sauce to taste (Tabasco recommended)
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
- Rinse brown rice in a colander. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and bring to a boil again. Lower heat to medium-low or low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. (Rice should be somewhat firm, but it will absorb more moisture when everything is combined.)
- While rice cooks, prepare chosen proteins: a) Chicken*—If you need to cook some chicken, use a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Brown in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook on low until done. Remove from skillet and chop into bite-size pieces. Place cooked, chopped chicken in a medium bowl. b) Shrimp— If using fresh shrimp, peel and remove tail. If using frozen peeled shrimp, thaw by placing in a baggie and then putting the baggie in a bowl of warm water for 15 to 30 minutes. Set aside to add to vegetables later. c) Ham—Chop ham into bite-size pieces. Brown in the large skillet you plan to use for the vegetables. Transfer to the bowl with chicken. d) Sausage—Slice sausage into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Brown in the skillet, along with the ham. Transfer to the bowl with chicken, reserving about 1 tablespoon of the grease.
- Set aside all cooked proteins, or place in the refrigerator if not continuing right away.
- Chop onion. Heat grease or melt butter in the same skillet used above over medium-low heat. (No need to clean it first.) Add chopped onion and stir occasionally while you continue.
- Chop celery and bell pepper, adding to onion as you finish each. Cook and stir another 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
- Add tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, and cloves. Stir in shrimp and cook about 3 minutes, or until shrimp turns white.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan with rice. Add other proteins. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until moisture has been absorbed and everything is warm, about 5 minutes.
- Turn to low and keep warm on the stovetop or in the oven for an additional 30 minutes (or more if possible). This allows the flavors to meld and intensify. Taste to determine if you need hot sauce, which depends on how spicy the sausage is. If you did not use sausage, you’ll need extra hot sauce. NOTE: We often make this in advance and store in the refrigerator, reheating when ready to serve. It also freezes well.
- Stir in chopped parsley right before serving.
- We like to chop up leftover roast chicken and freeze it in baggies, which can later be thawed and used in recipes like this one.
- You can choose one protein to turn this into Shrimp or Chicken Jambalaya, but you’ll need to increase the amount. Chicken Andouille sausage is available, if you don’t want pork. Be sure to add extra hot sauce if you leave out the sausage. Add extra salt if you omit the ham.
*Technique: If you only have tomato paste, you can use 3 parts tomato paste and 4 parts water (i.e. 3/4 cup tomato paste and 1 cup water), although some people recommend equal amounts. To make 1 cup tomato sauce use a little over 1/2 cup water and add enough paste to make 1 cup. That’s close enough, especially for this recipe.
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