Tender chicken, juicy shrimp and spicy andouille sausage and tossed with rice, bell peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and a generous dose of Creole seasoning. It’s comfort food with some kick (how much kick is up to you) and it’s sure to become a favorite. So come get your Creole on and laissez les bons temps rouler!
By Kimberly Killebrew
Jambalaya, a quintessential New Orleans classic. There are two general kinds of jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. What’s the difference? The main difference is that Creole jambalaya, also called “red jambalaya” uses tomatoes, Cajun jambalaya does not. Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. But both utilize what’s referred to as the “holy trinity” – onion, celery, and bell pepper (usually green). This jambalaya is the Creole version. An important element in this dish is the homemade Creole seasoning. The flavor will be more fresh, bold, and overall better. If you have the herbs and spices on hand to make it, your taste buds will thank you and perform a perfect triple axle. If you must use store-bought, no worries: You’ll still get a double axle.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ pound andouille sausage, sliced in ¼ inch slices
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 cup white long grain rice
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (see recipe below)
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound medium raw shrimp, deveined (optional: tails removed)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- For the Creole Seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all the spices in a coffee or spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
- Place the chicken in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the Creole seasoning. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on all sides. Add the andouille sausage and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the sausage begins to brown.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice, diced tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of Creole seasoning, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves.
- Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, giving it one stir around the halfway point. Add the shrimp, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Serve sprinkled with some sliced green onions.
Raised in Western Europe, widely traveled, and currently residing near Seattle with her husband and children, Kimberly loves preparing and experimenting with a large range of flavors and cuisines. This is reflected in her food blog, The Daring Gourmet, where she invites all to “tour the world through your taste buds.” Passionate cook, recipe developer and photo enthusiast, her culinary repertoire includes everything from gourmet to simple comfort food, and, as she puts it, “simply downright good eats.”