In honor of Mardi Gras and my hubby’s Creole lineage, I made a pot full of Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya. Jambalaya is really quite easy to make and does not take more than an hour of total prep and cooking time. After making this dish once, It’s sure to become a favorite simply because it’s so flavorful and quick to make. Due to the spiciness, it’s not a favorite with the kiddies.
There are a few variations on this dish. The Creole version uses tomatoes, The Cajun version does not. The French Creoles introduced Jambalaya to the Cajuns. History says that the Creole version has it’s roots from the Spanish Paella. The Cajun method has it’s roots in whatever meat was available, turtle, alligator, crawfish, venison, roadkill, you get the idea. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Make the Creole seasoning by combining 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of dried thyme and 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Take 1/2 a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and dice into small pieces.
Take 20 medium sized shrimp that are peeled and deveined and cut then into three pieces.
Mix the chopped shrimp and diced chicken with the Creole seasoning, set aside.
Slice 1/2 a pound of Andouille sausage and then cut slices in half. Put a little olive oil into pan and cook the sausage for just a few minutes. The Andouille sausage is already fully cooked. The whole idea here is to flavor the oil that you will be cooking the vegetables in. Remove the sausage and set aside.
Add a little olive oil to the pan and then add the holy trinity as it is known. The holy trinity consists of diced onion, diced celery and diced green bell pepper.
Cook the vegetables for a few minutes, until the onion begins to become translucent.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic and 1 cup of chopped tomatoes. I used peeled and diced canned tomatoes.
Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce. You can skip the Tabasco if you don’t want fire to come out of your ears.
Add 3 bay leaves and stir in 1 cup of long grain rice.
Slowly stir in 3 cups of chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook until the rice absorbs the liquid and becomes tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the seasoned chicken and shrimp, and sausage, cook for another 10 – 12 minutes. If the chicken is done, then the Jambalaya is done.
1 large Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pan.
Ingredients needed for Creole Seasoning:
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t want it too spicy. You can always add more at the end. )
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
20 medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup peeled diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
1 cup long grain rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound Andouille sausage
Salt & pepper
Make the Creole Seasoning by combining all the dry ingredients listed above and mix well. In a bowl mix the Creole Seasoning with the diced chicken and chopped shrimp. Set aside. In a large pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for a few minutes to flavor the pan, remove the sausage and set aside. The sausage is already fully cooked so you don’t need to cook it more than 5 – 7 minutes. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the chopped onion, green bell pepper and celery. Cook until the onion just starts to become translucent, about 5 minutes or so. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, 1 cup of chopped or diced peeled tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (optional), add 3 bay leaves. If your sausage was as spicy as mine, I would skip the hot sauce. Stir in 1 cup of long grain rice and slowly add the 3 cups of chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes or so, until the rice starts to absorb the liquid and the rice is tender. Now add the seasoned shrimp, chicken and sausage. If you find that your rice is getting dry or sticking, add a little water. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, until the chicken is done. Season to taste with salt & pepper and enjoy! Serves 6 – 8.