For this post, we wanted to share the recipe we used to make Jambalaya for our friends, we like to get together at least two times a year to cook and make a party out of it. We used two different recipes and took bits and pieces from each, adding our own touches to make what has been the best Jambalaya we have tasted so far. This dish does come with some work, though. But, if you’re organized you can get all the ingredients chopped beforehand, and when it’s time to cook, you’ll have everything you need ready. We’ve included a video on how to clean shrimp, in case you need some help. This recipe serves a crowd, so we used two pots to make it, to ensure everything had enough room to cook. We simply divided the ingredients into two, and put everything in two pots. If we had used my dutch oven, though it is large, it would have been a disaster.
Jambalaya is a creole dish, from Louisiana with its roots in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It has Spanish influence, in that it resembles paella, but instead of using saffron, Jambalaya uses tomatoes. As time passed and French influence grew stronger in the area, new flavors as well as Caribbean spices were added to the mix, making it a unique dish.
There are different varieties, some use shrimp, others Andouille sausages, others both of these ingredients as well as chicken. Essentially, this is a broth flavored with vegetables, seafood, meats and raw rice. As the grains cook, they absorb all the flavors from the different ingredients, making Jambalaya a truly delicious and satisfying dish.
Since this was a cooking party, we needed something to nibble on while we cooked, so we made chunky guacamole to eat with natural corn chips.
Kitty & Helga
Ingredients for the Creole Seasoning mix:
4 teaspoons cayenne pepper (less, if preferred)
4 teaspoons cobán pepper (or other chili powder)
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch celery salt
Ingredients for the Jambalaya:
⅓ cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ pounds of chicken breasts,cut into 2-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds Andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ tablespoons chopped thyme leaves (fresh)
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
9 cups chicken stock
3 cups brown rice
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped parsley
- For the spice mix, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimps (if you haven’t done so before, you can watch the video at the end of these instructions to see how is done). Reserve the shrimp in a bowl and season with the creole seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
- In a separate bow, place the chicken pieces and season with the creole seasoning, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator as well.
- In a large Dutch oven, (or use 2 pots, as we did) heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Sauté shrimp until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp and set aside until later.
- Add olive oil to Dutch oven (or 2 pots) and when hot, add chicken pieces and sauté until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Cut the andouille and cook until browned. Remove and set aside.
- Add more olive oil, and when hot add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, green onions, bay leaves, cayenne, chopped tomatoes and thyme and cook until vegetables are wilted, about 6 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and chicken stock and return chicken, shrimp and sausage to pot.
- Season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add rice to pot, stir well and allow to simmer , lower the heat and cover. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
- Add parsley to Dutch oven, mixing carefully, and check to add more liquid if needed. Keep cooking covered, for another 15-20 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
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