Jambalaya is a Louisiana, Creole rice dish of Spanish and French influence. It’s very similar to paella in some ways. Nice and easy to make, once you’ve done a bit of chopping it’s cooked in less than half an hour. Prep your ingredients the night before, pop them in the fridge and it’s a really speedy, satisfying meal. And don’t let the long list put you off. You’ll have a lot of it in your cupboards already.
This is one of my 7 year old daughter’s favourites. Traditionally Jambalaya contains chicken, some sort of sausage (Andouille is authentic but we use Chorizo) and seafood, in this case prawns. This recipe has evolved over time and is very much our families version, so don’t pick me up on it’s lack of authenticity! We’ve taken to leaving out the chicken, but it’s really great when you include it.
This recipe will serve 4 big appetites, 5 or 6 with the chicken added. Tweak it to your taste. If you don’t like prawns, leave them out. The sausage element is pretty crucial though.
1 tbsp olive oil
140g chorizo or your favourite spicy sausage, thinly sliced
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces (I left these out but I’ll give instructions for including them)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp of chilli powder (add more if you like, I very much cater for my daughter)
400g basmati rice, rinsed in a sieve under cold running water, agitated to remove a lot of the starch. Don’t miss out this step
730ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
225g frozen cooked king prawns, defrosted
5 spring onions finely sliced
In a big, heavy based pan add the oil and turn the heat up to medium. Fry off the chicken and chorizo for a few minutes until nicely browned. The chicken should be cooked through. Remove the chicken and chorizo to a bowl, leaving the oil that’s rendered down from the chorizo in the pan.
Add the garlic, paprika and oregano and gently fry in the oil for a few seconds, before adding the peppers and onion and frying over a medium heat until the vegetables have softened slightly.
Add the chilli powder and rice and mix with the vegetables until all the grains of rice are coated in the oil. Add the stock, salt and sugar, stir together well and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low simmer, pop on the lid and let it bubble away gently for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the prawns, chorizo and chicken and stir gently together. Pop the lid back on and cook for a further 5 minutes.
After this last 5 minutes of cooking, the rice should have absorbed all the stock and be cooked perfectly. Give it another gentle stir and have a taste for seasoning. If the rice still has a little too much bite, give it another minute, covered, and try it again. Stir through most of the spring onions, leaving a few back for sprinkling on the top.
Serve in warmed bowls.
Enjoy! K x