Today’s recipe is New Orleans spicy jambalaya. It is a one-dish meal with Spanish, French, and African influences. It usually has 3 proteins of chicken or pork, sausage (andouille, chorizo or smoked sausage), and seafood (shrimp or crawfish). Today we’re using chicken and andouille sausage with shrimp. If you are not able to obtain shrimp at this time, the chicken and sausage will still make a great hearty dish for the family.
There are numerous variations to the recipe as everyone has put their own spin on it. The wonderful flavors are from the mix of Cajun spices cooked with the sauteed vegetables: celery, garlic, onion, and green bell pepper. You can adjust the heat of the dish to meet your taste requirements. If you want more heat, adjust the hot sauce or Cajun seasoning you add. If you are not able to find Cajun seasoning, it’s easy to make your own mix by using common spices and herbs.
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Combine in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake to mix.
Traditionally okra is not added to Jambalaya, but I love the additional flavor and nutrition of another vegetable. Many stores in the USA have frozen okra. Be sure to defrost the frozen okra before adding to the dish.
Now many of you are probably thinking this is very similar to gumbo. There is a real difference between the two New Orleans dishes. Gumbo is a roux-thickened stew that is served over cooked rice. Jambalaya is a rice dish similar to paella. The chicken and sausage are cooked in the same pot with the rice. Similar flavors but a different dish. Add a simple salad with cornbread and your meal is complete.
- 10 oz sliced andouille sausage
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 diced onion
- 1 cored & diced green bell pepper
- 1 cored & diced yellow or red bell pepper
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14 oz can crushed Italian tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup sliced okra fresh or defrosted frozen
- 3 cups chicken stock plus more as needed
- 1 lb raw shrimp
- 1.5 cups white rice
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces
- Season chicken and sausage with 1/2 of Cajun seasoning
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot
- Brown sausage rounds in hot oil
- Remove sausage from pan to clean plate
- Add the last 2 tablespoons of oil with raw chicken to pan
- Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked
- Remove meat to clean plate with sausage
- Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and celery to pan
- Saute for about 6 minutes until onion is softened, stir occasionally
- Add crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, rice, Cajun seasoning, thyme, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, & bay leaf, and stir to combine
- Cook unfil mixture simmers
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes
- Add more broth as needed
- Add shrimp and okra if using, cooked chicken and sausage to pan
- Stir to combine
- Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink
- Remove bay leaf
- Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce
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