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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creole Jambalaya

Sometimes for an event like a Super Bowl party, you might want to serve a dish that is a bit more "substantial".  With lots of beer and cocktails flowing it's a good idea to have something for guests to eat that will balance out the drinks.  This hearty dish will do just that and, to make things easier, it's all cooked in one pot.

This recipe is adapted from an Emeril dish. It includes chicken quarters that are seared on the outside before they finish cooking in the oven, smoked sausage (in place of andouille sausage which is quite pricey) and shrimp that is gently steamed in the same pot just before serving the dish.  The flavors are amazing!

First a little history! There are two primary methods of making jambalaya. The first and most common in Southeast Louisiana is Creole Jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya"), which originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans. The second style is Cajun Jambalaya, which contains no tomatoes, and is known as "Brown Jambalaya" in New Orleans. For another twist on this classic dish you might want to try our Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya.

Since there are as many different recipes for Jambalaya as there are for chili, this is another dish that changes from one family to another to satisfy specific tastes. The Jambalaya can be adjusted by adding more or less shrimp or go heavier on the hot sauce and Cajun seasoning if you want a more spicy flavor. Try this recipe once and adjust to suit your own taste buds.  Serve with a loaf of crusty french bread and Olive Oil Dipping Sauce.  Enjoy!!

3 - 4 pieces Chicken Leg Quarters
2 TB Cajun Blackening Spice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
1 cup Onions, chopped
1 TB Garlic, minced
1 lb pkg Beef Smoked Sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices, then halved
2 cups Long Grain White Rice
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 - 14 1/2 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1 TB Tomato Paste
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
4 Bay Leaves
1 tsp dried Thyme
1-1/2 lbs medium Shrimp (21-25 size), peeled and deveined

Preheat oven to 375.  Season the chicken quarters with Blackening Spice and salt. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

Add the celery, peppers and onions to the pot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the sausage, cook 2 more minutes. Add the rice and stir well, cooking another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the Blackening Spice, Tabasco, bay leaves and thyme. Stir to combine. Return the chicken quarters to the pan and nestle the pieces into the rice mixture.
Cover the pot and bake until the chicken and rice are tender, about 40 minutes.

Toss the shrimp with the remaining Blackening Spice. Remove the jambalaya from the oven and add the shrimp to the top of the pot, gently pressing the shrimp into the rice. Cover the pot and let stand for five minutes, undisturbed. The shrimp will be cooked through from the steam in the pot.


  1. As a recent transplant to the south (I live just up the road from you in Jacksonville), I am excited to learn more about Southern cooking. Jambalaya is near the top of things to try! Your version sounds delicious.

  2. Thank you for the compliment Kristen and welcome to Florida! You have now access to all of the yummy seafood Jacksonville has to offer. :-)

  3. I have never tasted cajun cuisine, but have heard so many good things about it! This dish sounds so appealing and spicy! I must check if cajun spice is sold in the American grocery shop here.


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