The jambalaya is African, French, Spanish and Southern at the same time. That’s what creole cuisine is all about! What started as a humble one-pot dish designed to feed a crowd is now an astounding ambassador for the type of food.
There’s lots of tradition behind a pot of jambalaya, and it’s easy to see why the dish has an immense fan base — it has it all, from chicken, seafood and sausages to veggies, all tossed with steamy rice. Beautiful, utterly satisfying and tasty, the jambalaya is a charmer.
The famous dish has a reputation of being fairly difficult to make; it’s quite the opposite; it’s easy, especially if using precooked rice. The rest is just cooking all the elements in the correct order — the result, though, really tastes like something that took a lot of time and effort to cook!
Chicken might be the most crucial ingredient in this jambalaya — after all, we’re using chicken thighs and chicken stock. Still, you can also add andouille sausages and shrimp to make this rice dish a crowd-pleasing meal.
It all starts with garlic and the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cuisines: onion (or shallots), bell peppers and celery. We’re also using precooked white rice and parsley as a garnish.
And before you say anything, let me tell you that this is a tried and tested recipe designed to keep things simple. You can add a ton of herbs and spices along with other ingredients to make your jambalaya as complex as you want!
You’ll find in the recipe below quite a challenge, but a rewarding one for sure. You never forget your first pot of jambalaya.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage links in bite-sized slices until brown and crispy. Set aside.
In the same skillet, sear the chicken until golden. Set aside.
Using the same skillet and the leftover sausage fat, sauté the garlic cloves. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil if needed.
Once the garlic is golden, add the green bell pepper, onion and celery. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
Add the chicken stock and stir in cook the rice. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the rice is cooked and the water has mostly evaporated.
Add the shrimp and stir.
Add the sausage and chicken and incorporate gently.
Serve, drizzle with olive oil and top with chopped parsley.