Creole Jambalaya

Creole Jambalaya

Jambalaya is one of my favorite things to eat when I’m in New Orleans (second only to gumbo). But for the majority of the year when I’m far away from the French Quarter, this hearty one-pot recipe helps satisfy the Creole craving. It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but the process is actually pretty straightforward.

Notes on sausage: You should be able to find andouille sausage or Cajun sausage at your grocery store. Sometimes they even have chicken versions (for those who don’t eat pork). If not, try to find a smoked sausage, kielbasa, or Polish sausage as a substitute.

Notes on shrimp: I prefer tail off for the same reason I prefer boneless chicken thighs for this recipe: I want to eat my Creole jambalaya with a spoon, without having to pick parts out with my fingers. Buy hey, that’s just me. My husband, on the other hand, absolutely loves playing with his food.

BASICS:

Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

Vegetable oil for sauté
2 T Cajun seasoning
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
10-12 oz andouille sausage, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 lb raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp ground black peppercorns
½ tsp ground thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 T Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice

Garnish:
Green onions, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

Start by cutting the chicken thighs into 2-inch pieces and coating them with about half of the Cajun seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil. Brown the sausage first and remove (set aside). Next, add a bit more oil, brown the chicken and remove (set aside, with the sausage is fine).

Add garlic to the pot (should still be some oil in there, but if it’s dry add a little more oil) and cook for about 30 seconds. Add onion and cook down until they’re becoming soft and transparent. Now add the celery and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir as needed.

Add tomatoes, remaining Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper, sage, oregano, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, and Tabasco and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the sausage and chicken back to the pot and mix in.

Add the chicken broth and the rice. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Let the jambalaya simmer for about 25 minutes while stirring occasionally. When the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid, it’s ready.

Finally, stir in the shrimp. Allow your jambalaya to continue simmering until the shrimp are cooked through (5-6 minutes).

Do a final taste test to see if you need more heat (red pepper flakes or Tabasco), more salt, or more bite (black pepper). Season to taste.

Serve with sliced green onions and parsley. Enjoy!

 


Creole vs Cajun jambalaya: Cajun jambalaya originated in the rural swamp areas and prairies of southwest Louisiana. It was made using what the land had to offer — which didn’t typically include tomatoes. Soon after, Creole jambalaya was developed in the French Quarter of New Orleans by those with more access to ingredients, including (you guessed it) tomatoes. Cajun jambalaya is sometimes called “brown jambalaya” while Creole jambalaya is referred to as “red jambalaya”. They are both delicious and awesome.