Easy Jambalaya 

In honor of Mardi Gras, and because I love all things New Orleans, I decided to try my hand at making this classic spicy rice dish. I would say I’m a fairly adventurous cook, but some things still intimidate me, and jambalaya had always been one of them… until I started comparing recipes and realized it is totally not as scary as it looks! This version is based on chef Emeril Lagasse’s Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya (who better to learn from than the master of Creole cuisine himself, right?). For my recipe, I subbed out the ham cubes and added chicken and some nice, spicy chorizo. You can make yours with any meats you like… pork… sausage… you really can’t go wrong! I hope you will be brave like me today and try this wonderful New Orleans favorite; I’m sure you’ll love the results. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Easy Jambalaya
Serves: 6-8

  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo
  • 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces), chopped, with juice
  • 1 1/2 c. yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 c. celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook chicken pieces and while chorizo until cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and soft.
  3. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and sauté until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slice chorizo. Return chorizo slices and cooked chicken to pan.
  5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the rice and stir to mix. Add the water, stir well, cover and cook undisturbed over medium-low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and let stand undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaves and serve!

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