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Recipe: Jambalaya!

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I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, and, someday, I will! It looks like such a vibrant, fun town but a big part of the appeal for me is the cuisine. I lived in Florida for a short time as a child and our neighbours were from Louisiana. I remember spending long, hot Saturdays at their pool parties where they’d serve Gumbo, Crawfish Creole, Dirty Rice and whole host of other spicy delights. Ever since, I’ve been a huge fan of all things Cajun (but not the icky Irish take on “cajun chicken” that you get in pre-packed salads and sandwiches across the land, vile and most certainly not Cajun!).

Recently, I decided to cook something completely different so I plumped for Jambalaya, a dish not entirely dissimilar to Paella, but with more of a tomato base and a feistier kick. I didn’t make an entirely traditional Jambalaya but this take on it is simple to do and really delicious. This recipe feeds four and tastes much better if left for at least a few hours for the flavours and spices to really develop.


  • 2 cups rice (I used brown but white works just as well)
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 chorizo sausage (the traditional Jambalaya uses andouille sausage but I couldn’t find this, so substituted with the chorizo), sliced
  • 1 lb shrimp/prawns, cooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10-15 drops Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ ltr chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped spring onions, for garnish


  1. Cook rice to packet directions.
  2. Place a large pot over a medium to high heat and add oil and butter.
  3. Brown chicken for 3 mins or so, add chorizo, saute for 1 min.
  4. Add onion, celery, peppers, Tabasco and bay leaves, saute for 5 mins.
  5. Sprinkle cornflour in, mix through and cook for 1 min longer.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, stock, cumin, chili, seasoning and Worcestershire, bring to boil.
  7. Simmer for 15-20 mins, best left for a few hours/overnight, add in cooked rice and shrimp/prawns and stir all together just before heating and serving.
  8. Serve in big bowls with chopped spring onions as garnish.


  1. I LOVE jambalaya, it’s fantastic. In fact I’m going to go listen to this song about it right now:

  2. Any of the Polish kielbasa sausages will make a good substitution also, I have found.

  3. Yes, smoked all-pork sausage is the closest thing to andouille. Chorizo doesn’t have the same flavor at all, and cumin would never be found in a jambalaya in Louisiana. Thyme is the primary flavoring. Also, the rice would be cooked with the rest of the ingredients, not separately.

  4. Fancy that, I just told my other half last night how I would love to go to New Orleans. The food sounds yummy, although I want to go firstly for the culture.
    I love the sound of “dirty rice” 🙂

  5. This ain’t no jambalaya.

  6. Maybe that’s why Rebecca said ‘I didn’t make an entirely traditional Jambalaya but this take on it is simple to do and really delicious.’ 😉

  7. Fine, then don’t call it jambalaya, Bill has already pointed out the differences.

  8. I have done a search as I was only talking to the husband at the weekend about chicken jambalaya I had as a kid and I found this one – done in a Pressure cooker!! in case anyone is interested… It could of course be made without the pressure cooker…but slower…

  9. I love chicken jambalaya; I’ve eaten it in Greensboro
    and many restaurants. but New Orleans Bar and Grill restaurants it awesome!