Being from Louisiana, I am often asked to make some sort of Cajun dish. Thankfully, they are easy and economical. Cajun food can be as spicy or mild as you like. Whenever I make Gumbo, Etouffee or Jambalaya for my children’s friends (or those who don’t like spicy foods), I opt to leave out the cayenne pepper. Unlike the Cajun dish, Gumbo, a soup-like dish served over rice, Jambalaya is not soupy. It’s a tasty rice dish made with chicken and smoked sausage. There are many variations to this Cajun staple. My recipe includes tomatoes, some don’t. I’ve used this recipe for many years to feed my family, guests and at catering events.
- 1/2 lb chicken, diced or shredded
- 1 rope of smoked sausage
- 1 cup of ham, diced
- Shrimp, optional
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 T chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasonings (like Tony Chachere’s)
- 2 teaspoons each of oregano, thyme and dill
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice (or white rice)
- 3 cups beef stock*
- 1 (14.5oz) can of diced tomatoes (Ro-Tel brand is great)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, optional
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Saute meats until browned (If using pre-cooked chicken, alternate these steps and saute’ vegetables first; then, add cooked chicken). Add veggies and cook until just tender; then add broth, tomatoes and seasonings. Add rice and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover pot with lid. Cook for aprx. 45-50 minutes. (If using white rice, cook for 20 minutes).
This recipe is easily doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. And it’s always better the next day. So, make extra!
*To make this have an extra layer of wonderful flavor add shrimp stock! Substitute 1-2 cups for the beef/chicken broth.