Friendly reminder that the Kindle version of my debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table, is available for $2.99 on Amazon for today (Nov 24th) only!
Jambalaya has its origins in European cuisine, and it is commonly believed that the dish is the result of Spaniards living in New Orleans attempting to recreate Paella using local ingredients. The word Jambalaya itself comes from the Provençal (Southern France) word Jambalaia, which means “mish-mash”. Some folktales posit that the word is a combination of Jamón (“ham”) and Paella, but that falls a bit flat when you consider that ham is not a traditional ingredient in Jambalaya.
But what are traditional ingredients, you might ask? Good question. First, there are two major types of Jambalaya – Creole (or “Red”) and Cajun. The main difference between the two is that Creole Jambalaya, the more popular version of the two, contains tomatoes (the Cajun version has more rural roots, where tomatoes weren’t readily available).
Aside from the standard “holy trinity” mirepoix of onion, celery, and bell pepper, there are plenty of proteins used in this dish: shrimp, sausage, alligator, chicken, crawfish, oysters, and nutria rat. For this recipe I used the most readily-available proteins: sausage, shrimp, and chicken; if you have access to some of the more adventurous ingredients from this list, go for it.
Jambalaya (Gluten-Free, Perfect Health Diet)
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
10oz andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tbsp creole powder (recipe here)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (16oz) crushed or diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken or seafood stock
1 1/4 cups long-grain uncooked white rice, rinsed (see note below)
salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled
fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
green onion, sliced, to serve
1. In a large pot or dutch oven, warm the ghee over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, about 3 minutes. As the sausage browns, toss the chicken pieces in the creole seasoning and black pepper. Once the sausage is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside; add the chicken and sauté until browned, about 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Add more cooking fat if needed.
2. Once the chicken is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery; sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, stock, rice, chicken, and sausage. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low; simmer until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.
3. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, taste the Jambalaya for salt, pepper, and heat, seasoning as needed; once it tastes perfect, stir in the shrimp, cover, remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes. Once ready, stir in some chopped parsley then serve with sliced green onion.
** When buying long-grain white rice, it’s important to know where it was grown. Most long-grain rice in the US is grown in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, on former cotton fields that used arsenic-based pesticides to combat boll weevils. This arsenic is still present in the fields, and rice absorbs a lot of it during cultivation. I prefer to use Lundberg brand rice, which is grown in California, as it has significantly less arsenic.
** You have many options for hot sauce. Tabasco original sauce is always a good choice, and their chipotle sauce adds a nice smokiness to the dish. Other favorites include Crystal and Louisiana hot sauces.
** This dish tastes better the following day. I should know, I ate it eight times in the four days following my initial test batch.
36 thoughts on “Jambalaya”
Sounds amazing and I totally understand how good it would taste the next day. Just one question for those who are looking for a lower carb version or who don’t eat rice, do you think cauliflower rice would work here?
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Cauliflower won’t absorb the liquid like rice does, but it could definitely be added at the same time as the shrimp – you’ll just want to add less broth, about 1/3 as much as called for in the recipe (just enough to cover the meat and veggies halfway).
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YUM. I have a very small cooking blog myself (mostly for my own use really), I have always loved authentic jambalaya but too anxious to try it myself.. this recipe is straightforward enough that I just might change my mind. Your cookbook is at a beyond reasonable price too.. great post.
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I have never made Jambalaya- but your post is making me want to go home and make it for dinner tonight! After Thanksgiving I will definitely have to give jambalaya a try.
“The Wife” makes an excellent one. I must follow her with the camera next time and post it. This looks excellent Paul.
Yes! Cajun food at its finest. Thanks for sharing :)
This looks amazing
Looks fantastic, and great added detail. We eradicated nutria some years ago in the UK and don’t have an arsenic probl
em. You don’t find too many recipes covering those subjects. Sorry – pressed button by accident, hence two part post!
Paleo seems like a very interesting topic and your recipes look great!
xoxo Katie from http://www.whatskatieupto.com
Do you have this recipe in vegetarian?
Sure – omit the meats and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.
How long will this last for in the fridge? Would a week be fine? Food that tastes better with time is the best!
I would say a week max – the shrimp won’t last
much longer than that. This dish freezes well, too!
That’s great to hear – I cook for myself (busy professional) so I always freeze some for emergency meals
With seafood, max two days. Without, maybe 4-5. After that, it’s your stomach, not mine.
I haven’t eaten Jambalaya in years, maybe it’s time to give it a go again, because this looks amazing!
Looking so tasty!
Made this today, super yummy! So easy and delish!
Just finished eating this, my wife thinks I’m a cooking God. Thanks for being my little cooking secret, your recipes never let me down.
Chris – happy to be of service!
Oh my is this good!! I checked out your site after seeing your cookbook won at Paleo f(x) and boy am I glad. This is the best jambalaya I’ve ever ate!
Any ideas for folks whose Doctor put them on a
very low sodium diet?
Two ideas for ya! Try making your own cajun seasoning, recipe here: http://www.food.com/recipe/salt-free-cajun-seasoning-81383 OR Buy a salt free cajun seasoning, my favorite here: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Chacheres-Salt-Creole-Seasoning/dp/B00161FT0S
Russ, this has become a staple at our house! I keep your creole seasoning around in the cupboard for other uses as well. This Jambalaya is now our traditional Fat Tuesday dinner too. It is delicious without shrimp as well, if you are on a budget or don’t have shrimp in the freezer. Thanks again for yet another winner in my house!
I don’t know if anyone is still here but I thought I’d leave a note. This has been my go-to jambalaya recipe for the past 3 years. I make it every 3 or 4 months and my family loves it! Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by Jeremy!