Today I wanted to pay homage to the great city of NOLA, so dinner tonight was Jambalaya. Prep work for this wonderful dish was a bit time consuming, though the dinner itself takes just 20 minutes or so to cook. Now there are purists who argue over whether or not Jambalaya has tomato in it. The answer, as far as I can gather from a little research, is yes, and no. Creole Jambalaya has tomato; Cajun Jambalaya does not. Either way, it is a delicious, filling and eye pleasing dish. My recipe, culled from about 3 or 4 others, is authentic Creole Jambalaya, with tomato — almost. The only change I made was that the recipes always call for green sweet pepper, and I used a red sweet pepper since that’s what I had in the house.
Do not get overwhelmed by the ingredient list. At first glance it is overwhelming, but truly, it’s a very easy dish to prepare.
- 1 Tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Dried oregano
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Paprika (Today I used smoked which gives the dish a musky flavor–sweet paprika is fine too)
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Dried thyme
- 1 Tsp. Dried oregano
- 1 Tsp. Dried basil
- 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne
- 1 Tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 Tsp. fresh ground black pepper
I used my Bullet Mixer and ground up all the ingredients into a fine powder to be used as a dry rub for both the chicken and shrimp. There was plenty to do 1 pound of each. Grind it up and set it aside.
- 1 # Andouille Sausage, sliced on an angle into 1/4″ slices
- 1 # Boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1″ hunks
- 1 # Shrimp, 31-40 size, peeled (tails can be left on if you’d like)
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 1 sweet pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 x 14 oz. cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 4 C of low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bayleaves
- 3 C white rice (I used Jasmine)
- Hot sauce optional
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Cut up the sausage, chicken and shrimp and set each aside. Using 1/2 of the Jambalaya seasoning on each, coat the chicken and shrimp, using your hands to make sure they are all coated. Cover in plastic and either chill in the fridge for up to 2 hours, then let come to room temperature, or, if you’re making it reasonably soon, let it sit covered on the counter for 1/2 hour.
- Put the olive oil in the pan over medium high heat and add the chicken and sausage, browning it a little, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions, celery, pepper and garlic to the pot and stir around, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir it around until it gets coated with the juices from the pan.
- Add the tomatoes and liquid and stir to blend
- Add the broth and bayleaves into the pot. And, if using, the hot sauce
- Bring everything to a boil, then turn down and simmer, COVERED, for 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and using a large wooden spoon, stir everything up from the botton and turn it over, to make sure all the rice will cook. Then add the shrimp and stir one more time.
- Re-cover the pot and cook an additional 3 to 8 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Let the pot sit on the stove, untouched for an additional 5 minutes, stir, serve and enjoy.