An easy Jambalaya recipe is pure comfort food filled to the brim with flavour. The aromatic trinity of Cajun/Creole cooking: onion, celery, and bell peppers (capsicums), sautéed in andouille drippings with garlic, herbs and Cajun spices! Adding chicken and shrimp to this pot of tomato rice makes this one amazing meal in the comfort of your own homes!
authentic jambalaya recipe
what is in a jambalaya
Louisiana’s favourite one-pot dish varies from kitchen to kitchen, depending on the cook and the recipes passed down from older generations. Jambalaya traditionally contains any of the following meats:
- Chicken or pork
- Sausage — andouille, chorizo or smoked sausage.
- Seafoods — crawfish or shrimp are the favourite choices.
A soffritto-like trinity of onion, bell peppers and celery are also included, along with rice, chili’s, seasonings and broth. Everything usually cooks together in the one pot until the rice is done.
There are two kinds of Jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. This recipe is the tomato-based Creole version.
what is a good substitute for andouille sausage?
- Mexican chorizo sausage (comes close to andouille in flavour, but not in texture)
- Any Polish smoked sausage
cajun vs creole jambalaya
Creole cooks make a ‘red jambalaya’ including tomatoes in their recipe, whereas Cajun cooks do not. Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. Trying both while testing, I combined a little of both in this final recipe, choosing to sauté the sausage first to release drippings into the pot for the ‘soffritto’. We found doing this created the best flavour!
what is the difference between paella and jambalaya?
Even though Jambalaya is very similar to a Paella and includes pretty much the same list of main ingredients, the spices and seasonings change. Saffron is the main spice component in Paella, and Paella is milder than Jambalaya in the heat department.
what is the difference between a gumbo and jambalaya?
Gumbo is a stew or soup usually made with a roux to thicken it, whereas Jambalaya is a rice based dish. Okra is normally used in Gumbo to help thicken the stew and add a wonderful flavour to it. I use it in this Jambalaya recipe for the same reason! If you don’t like okra, you can use File Powder.
best rice for jambalaya
I use both long grain and short grain white rice. You could also use brown rice, but you will need to add more liquid and cook it longer than white.
best wines with jambalaya
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Gris
- Pinot Noir
sides that go with jambalaya
Jambalaya is THE perfect one-pot meal full of ingredients, you really don’t need to serve it with anything other than cornbread, or fresh baguettes, plus a salad with a simple dressing to not over-power all of the spices in this Jambalaya.
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons Slap Ya Mama/Cajun seasoning, (adjust to suit your tastes/heat preference)
- 10 ounces (300 g) andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound (500 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion diced
- 1 small green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
- 2 stalks/ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 ounces (400 g) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup thinly sliced okra (or 1 teaspoon file powder)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice (short grain or long grain)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound (500 g) raw shrimp/prawns tails on or off, peeled and deveined
- Sliced green onions and chopped parsley, to garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with half of the Cajun seasoning.
- Brown sausage in the hot oil; remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add remaining oil to the pot and sauté chicken until lightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon; set aside.
- Sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery until onion is soft and transparent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
- Stir in the tomatoes; season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes (or Cayenne powder), hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining Cajun seasoning. Stir in the okra slices (or file powder), chicken and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
- Add in the rice and chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium. Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, while stirring occasionally.
- Place the shrimp on top of the Jambalaya mixture, stir through gently and cover with lid. Allow to simmer while stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink (about 5-6 minutes, depending on the size/thickness of the shrimp being used).
- Season with a little extra salt and pepper if needed and remove from heat. Adjust heat with extra hot sauce, Cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning. Serve immediately with sliced green onions and parsley.
Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.
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