Jambalaya

My friends taught me how to make their homemade jambalaya recipe. And it's a total winner.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Some people make popcorn to celebrate the Academy awards.  Some might whip up a fancy cocktail or two. My neighbors John and Cate?  They invite the whole neighborhood over for a massive jambalaya feast.  NBD. Actually though, it was a big deal because his jambalaya was freaking amazing.  I went back for thirds, in between cheering on Lupita and watching Brad Pitt hand out pizza.  It was an epic night all around. So I asked John if he would teach me his ways.  And like a good neighborrrr, John and Cate were therrrrre. Here’s what I learned…

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

First of all, I learned that these two make a pretty darn cute team in the kitchen.  They’ll both be the first to admit that John is more of the cook in the family, whose specialty is usually anything Italian.  But his family is from Alabama and have been making jambalaya for decades, usually with fresh shrimp from the Gulf, they are quick to note.  (Something we Midwesterners just dream about…)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

For some reason I had always associated jambalaya with gumbo, thinking that the process required oodles of cooking time trying to make the perfect roux.  But John assured me that the whole dish can be made in under an hour.  My kind of meal. So last week, he and Cate came by for an afternoon cooking sesh.  John manned the stove and Cate peeled shrimp, and I basically cheered them on and took notes and photos.  And then dove in and (again) had thirds once everything was cooked. Here’s the how to:

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

You basically begin with the “holy trinity” of Cajun/Creole cooking — bell peppers, celery and onion.  You all know that I’m a sucker for color in cooking, so I picked up three different colors of peppers for this version.  Oh, and I accidentally forgot fresh garlic, so cheated and went with the refrigerated stuff.  Judge away…I use it all the time.  :) Saute the veggies up until they’re nice and soft.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then add in your meat.  We went with chicken and andouille sausage for this batch, and then added in shrimp at the very end.  Feel free to swap out whatever proteins you like for this recipe.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Saute those up until mostly cooked.  (The chicken should not be pink on the outside.)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then pour in all of the crushed tomatoes, broth, seasonings, and rice, and give it a good stir.  Cover and let it simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally so that the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Once the rice is cooked, add in the shrimp and continue simmering until the shrimp are cooked through.  Season with additional salt and pepper and hot sauce, if needed.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then serve it topped with a little fresh parsley and scallions for garnish.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

BAM.  So flipping good. And also, very easy to customize especially when it comes to heat.  I prefer jambalaya heavily seasoned and spicy, but if you like a milder version, just go easy on the Cajun seasoning and only use one seeded jalapeno.  If want to “kick it up a notch”, add lots of seasoning, pop in two jalapenos (with seeds), and maybe even add some hot sauce in at the end. John also likes to add in okra to the dish, which I love.  But if you’re anti-okra, hakuna matata, just leave it out.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Big thanks to John and Cate for Jambalaya 101.  I’ve already made the dish once more since our little lesson, so I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked.  ;)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Jambalaya

Learn how to make this easy and delicious homemade jambalaya!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (*more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (**more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • (optional) 1 cup thinly-sliced okra
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, thinly-sliced green onions, hot sauce)

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and mostly cooked. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, chicken and sausage, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and mostly cooked.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, rice, Cajun spice, bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. (Don't forget to stir, or the rice may burn on the bottom of the pan.)

Once the rice is tender, add in the shrimp and okra and stir to combine. Let the mixture continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked and no longer pink. Remove bay leaf and season the jambalaya with salt and pepper and hot sauce and additional Cajun/Creole seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and serve with optional garnishes if desired.

*If you like spicy jambalaya, I recommend adding 2 jalapenos with their seeds in. If you like it mild, I'd go with just 1 seeded jalapeno. Or you can go somewhere in between, and always add extra hot sauce at the end if it's too mild.

**I also like heavily seasoned jambalaya, so I go with a full 2 Tbsp. If you think that might be too much, I recommend adding just 1 Tbsp and then taste-testing the rice before adding the shrimp. If you want to add more at that point, just stir some extra seasoning in when you add the shrimp.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Tim Byrnes Jr — August 14, 2015 @ 10:47 pm (#)

    This is a really good recipe for people that do not know how to cook Cajun/Creole food. I followed your directions nearly to a T. I changed the amounts of certain items to suit my tastes. 

    Here is my critique. 
    Using thighs will give you more flavor than breasts. You can get the boneless skinless, or do that part yourself. When cooking this, you should saute the Andouille at the very beginning then remove it from the pan. Then you saute the chicken in the Andouille fat (and added oil), and remove it afterwards. After that, you can follow your recipe completely. Add the chicken and sausage once you add the tomatoes. The carmelization on the sausage and chicken adds a complexity you don’t achieve otherwise. Using diced tomatoes is more traditional than crushed, but either could work. I used tomatoes from my garden, but I understand everyone doesn’t have that option. Making your own Cajun seasoning will allow you to alter it to your own tastes, but if you’re just going to pick something up from the store; Emeril’s is decent.

    Overall, this is pretty damned good. I enjoyed it, as did my wife; but cooking your protein first brings this to another level. 

    Cheers!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 17, 2015 @ 9:27 am (#)

      Tim, we’re so happy you and your wife enjoyed the recipe, and we really appreciate you sharing these helpful tips with us! We will follow your lead next time. :)

  2. Mez — August 15, 2015 @ 1:49 pm (#)

    Love it. I just finished a vegi version and it was great. Your water quantities were way off but it was great. I just added the extra water and it was good. Tasted great.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 16, 2015 @ 6:38 pm (#)

      We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the jambalaya! :)

  3. Dianne — August 22, 2015 @ 7:52 pm (#)

    Made this for dinner . My husband said it was a little spicy but he kept going back for 2nds and 3rds and invited our neighbor to have a bowl. I’d say it was a success. :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 7:44 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing Dianne, we’re happy to hear it was a hit! :)

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