Jambalaya is a classic Louisiana dish, taking it's origins from Spanish paella and French cooking. With rice, chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage and plenty colorful veg, this Creole jambalaya is a flavorful, comforting dish.
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You would maybe think that as someone who lived in Spain and has tried paella in pretty much all it's forms there (such as fideua and arroz negro, black rice paella), I might be drawn to similar dishes elsewhere.
However somehow, maybe particularly because I'm up in the Northeast, jambalaya isn't really a dish I have explored until recently. However I think that has to change, as this dish is so packed with flavor, particularly from the andouille sausage, that we were couldn't stop at one plate.
As with many things in Louisiana cooking, there are Creole and Cajun versions of this dish. As I mentioned when I shared crawfish etouffee, on researching a bit, apparently Creole is a little more French-influenced and uses ingredients that were less native to the area, but that you could get in New Orleans.
Cajun, meanwhile, is rooted in the country so uses mainly local ingredients. In the case of jambalaya, that means tomatoes in the Creole version, and not in Cajun.
How to make Creole jambalaya
As with most traditional dishes, not only do you get different ingredients, you have different ways of making it. However I have gone for a relatively traditional mix both of ingredients and method for a Creole jambalaya.
You start with the 'holy trinity' of onion, celery and pepper. Typically you would have at least some green pepper in there, but personally I'm not a huge fan and so instead went for a mix of red and orange, but use whatever you have and/or prefer.
- Soften the onion, celery and pepper.
- Add the chicken and andouille sausage and brown them.
- Next add the rice, tomatoes, stock and seasoning.
- When the rice is almost done, add the shrimp. They'll only take a couple minutes to cook then it's ready to serve.
Some people finish it off in the oven to help it cook evenly and not stick to the bottom, but personally I don't feel a great need to put the oven on for this. If you have a good heavy-based pan, such as the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Round Braiser I used and keep over a moderate-low heat, it should be fine.
Colorful, flavorful and with a delicious mix of rice, vegetables and proteins, this Creole jambalaya is a one pot meal that you'll be wanting to make again and again. Because who can say no to delicious comfort food?
Looking to try more Creole and Cajun dishes? Try these:
- Shrimp Creole
- Crawfish etouffee
- Plus get more ideas to celebrate with Mardi Gras food around the world.
- You'll also find many other seafood recipes in the archives, with plenty to inspire!
- ½ onion
- 1 pepper I used ½ red, ½ yellow but any combination of colors works
- 1 rib celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ lb chicken 225g, breast or thighs
- 14.5 oz finely chopped tomatoes 411g, 1 can
- 2 cups chicken stock 480ml
- 1 cup rice 200g, approx
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper or more, to taste
- ½ lb raw shrimp 225g prawns
- 6 oz smoked andouille sausage 170g, or other spicy smoked sausage
- Dice the onions, peppers and celery - I leave the peppers medium-sized but cut the rest relatively small. Dice the chicken and thinly slice the sausage.
- Warm the oil in a wide, heavy based dish then add the onion, pepper, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring now and then, until just soft (3-5min).
- Add the chicken and sausage then cook, stirring regularly, until the chicken is just cooked through. Add the tomatoes, stock, rice, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, paprika and cayenne. Bring to a simmer then cover, reduce the heat and leave approximately 20 minutes until the rice is just cooked. You may need to stir now and then, depending on your dish.
- Add the shrimp, pressing them under the rice mixture to help them cook through. Turn them over if needed and once cooked through, serve.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Enjoy these great #ComfortFood ideas:
- Cheesesteak Pizza from Cindy's Recipes and Writings.
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna from A Day in the LIfe on the Farm
- Chicken Cordon Bleu from Family Around the Table.
- Chicken Zoodle Soup from Everyday Eileen.
- Crock Pot Turkey Breast and Gravy from Cookaholic Wife.
- Dill Weed Deviled Eggs from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice.
- General Tso's Chicken from Palatable Pastime.
- Homemade "Hot Pocket" Sandwiches from Frugal Pantry.
- Italian Sausage Minestrone from Jolene's Recipe Journal.
- Lighter Chicken Pot Pie from Kate's Recipe Box.
- Turkey Sausage & Penne Skillet from Amy's Cooking Adventures.
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