This Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is my version of the classic Creole dish that’s full of rice, chicken, smoked sausage, peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and spices. It’s an easy one-pot meal that’s ready in less than an hour!
Since tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras is in full swing, and I am not in New Orleans, I am transporting myself there by way of the amazing food. My favorite dish is Jambalaya, which is actually super easy to make. It’s spicy, satisfying and scrumptious!
I have been to New Orleans exactly once in my life, and I definitely need to go back! David and I took a quick trip there many years ago and, as luck would have it, a tropical storm moved in right after we arrived and stayed until we left!
The rain and wind pretty much ruined our hopes of seeing the sights -although we did manage to get a really bizarre but interesting tour of the city by a cab driver who I think might have had one too many hurricanes that day – the drink, that is. So what did we do?
WE ATE…and ate, and ate, and ate…and we had some of the best food we’ve ever eaten in our lives there (to this day, we still talk and dream about the Lobster Thermidor at Emeril’s Delmonico).
I would love to go back there someday and really get to experience the city and all the sights the right way – and, of course, eat more of the fabulous food!
WHAT IS JAMBALAYA AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
Jambalaya originated in Louisiana. The ethnic influences represent many of the peoples who settled in and around New Orleans: French, Spanish, West African, German, and even Native American.
In general terms, jambalaya is a rice dish with meat (usually smoked sausage along with chicken or pork), sometimes seafood (such as shrimp or crawfish), vegetables (the “holy trinity” of celery, onions, and bell peppers), and spices. It’s usually got a bit of a kick to it!
There are two types of jambalaya, the main difference being whether or not tomatoes have been added. Creole or red jambalaya has tomatoes. Cajun or brown jambalaya does not have tomatoes. My version has tomatoes in it, so it’s a red Creole-style jambalaya.
Now, let’s get cooking!
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- Olive oil
- Chicken tenderloins (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- Smoked sausage (I use kielbasa)
- Bell peppers
- Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
- Chicken broth or stock
- Diced tomatoes
- Worcestershire sauce
- Long-grain white rice
- Salt and pepper
- Green onions (optional)
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE EASY CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA:
TIPS & TIDBITS:
- If you prefer dark meat, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Andouille – a spicy, smoky sausage – is traditionally used in jambalaya. To keep things on the less-spicy, family-friendly side (and also because my grocery store doesn’t have andouille), I use my favorite kielbasa instead. If you can get andouille, go for it!
- There are many different brands of Cajun and Creole seasoning, and they can be quite different (saltier, spicier, etc.). Use your favorite brand and adjust the amount in the recipe to suit your tastes.
- I make my own seasoning using the recipe for Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning. It’s got spices that I already keep on hand: paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. I cut back on the cayenne a bit so it’s not quite so spicy.
- If your seasoning blend is giving your jambalaya good flavor but not enough heat, add some cayenne pepper.
This jambalaya has everything – meat, vegetables, and rice – all in one delicious bowl, so you don’t even need to make a side dish (so only one pot to wash – yay!). Make it for Mardi Gras or any time of the year!
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
I hope you try this recipe for Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins, or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into ¼" thick half moons
- 1 cup chopped celery, ½" pieces
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups chopped red bell peppers, ½" pieces
- 2 cups chopped green bell peppers, ½" pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning blend, add more or less to taste
- 2½ cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chopped green onions, optional (for garnish)
- In a large skillet (I use an 11" pan that is about 3" deep) or a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes (note: the chicken does not have to be completely cooked through at this point – it will finish cooking with the rice).
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and sausage from the pan to a plate or bowl. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the celery, onions, and bell peppers to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute.
- Stir in the Cajun seasoning blend.
- Return the chicken and sausage to the skillet.
- Add the chicken broth or stock, the tomatoes, and the Worcestershire sauce; stir to combine.
- Add the rice; stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Garnish each serving with chopped green onions, if desired.
- You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
- Andouille – a spicy, smoky sausage – is traditional in jambalaya and can be used in place of the kielbasa for a spicier dish.
- Every brand of Cajun or Creole seasoning is different (saltier, spicier, etc.). Adjust the amount in the recipe to suit your tastes. When making this recipe for the first time, you might want to start with 1 tablespoon and then add more if needed.
- I make my own seasoning using the recipe for Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning (I cut back on the cayenne pepper a bit so it not quite as less spicy).
- If you’ve got good flavor but need more heat, add some cayenne pepper.