Chicken and sausage jambalaya; with shrimp and rice, it’s a perfect triumvirate in a deliciously zesty tomato sauce. Nothing personifies the cultural diaspora of the Caribbean quite like it; the west African, the Spanish, the French. All stewed up in tomato and rice and served with a fresh hunk of bread, it is comfort food on steroids.
I’ve had jambalaya many times and ways; ranging from excellent to mediocre to downright disappointing. There are a few hallmarks of a good one; the first among them is reverence. Yes, thats right: reverence.
When making a dish that is so simple in its makeup, but so elaborate in its flavour profiles, believe me: the more respect you have for it, the better it will taste. By that, I mean don’t skimp on the spices.
There are a few tips I wish to impart to you here, friends. Let’s start with the basics.
Stock: One of the things I didn’t mention in the recipe here is, aside from my fervent assertion to make and use your own stocks, is how to make a perfectly tailored stock for this dish.
If you have occasion to get your sausage raw and your shrimp unpeeled and raw, you’re in luck. What I did before the camera started rolling was quickly boil the sausage (for about 10-15 minutes). “Better still, boil that sausage in stock”, says my inner saucier…. While that was happening, I peeled the shrimp and saved the shells and tails. The boiling sausage water then got the raw shrimp dipped in it for a minute, just long enough to impart some flavour. Once the shrimp is blanched and removed, I added the shrimp shells and the trim from the onion and celery (along with the other basic trim scraps that make for a good stock; see the pro-tip on my page).
With a sausage and shrimp stock, chicken and sausage jambalaya gets a rich and flavourful broth that makes all the flavours so much stronger.
Give it a whirl; you’ll see what I mean.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Sauce pot or large frying pan
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 whole bell pepper diced
The rest of the players….
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 whole chili peppers (or 1 jalapeno) diced
- 1 28oz tin diced tomatoes
- 3 cups stock chicken is ideal, but veggie stock works, too.
- 1 lb sausage (andouille or chorizo) sliced
- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 6-8 oz chicken (light or dark meat, doesnt matter) diced
- 1 cup okra chopped
- 1 1/4 cup rice
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 Tbsp cajun spice
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 whole bay leaves
- Heat up your pan and give it a touch of oil (not much, just about a Tbsp).
- Once that's good and hot, lay in the salt, pepper and the trinity in and give it a good few minutes of stirring until it starts to sweat (roughly 5 minutes, give or take a bit)
- Add the chicken, okra, garlic, chilies and seasonings. move it around until the chicken is just about fully cooked…
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, rice, sausage and stock. Stir it all until evenly mixed. Once it comes to a boil, pull the heat down to a simmer and let it brew for about an hour or two until the rice is tender and the liquid is reduced/absorbed by the rice.
- Once the rice is soft, add the shrimp and let it simmer another few minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let stand for a couple minutes; ladle into your favorite bowl and enjoy.