I was first exposed to jambalaya when we moved to the States and I loved it!
There are basically two branches of jambalaya – the Creole (red/tomato) and the Cajun (no-tomato) versions. It’s the Creole version that I really love – I think it’s the combination of smoked sausage, chicken, prawns (shrimp) in a spicy tomato sauce with rice that makes it hearty and delicious.
I tried my hand at making it, and although traditionally the recipes do not contain courgettes (zucchini), I wanted to up the veggie/fruit content of the dish. My version is a little saucier than a lot of versions out there, but we loved it. I also used brown rice, and didn’t use too much chicken, sausage or prawns (shrimp) in this recipe, as having three types of protein in one meal is a lot for us.
JAMBALAYA WITH SMOKED SAUSAGE, CHICKEN AND PRAWNS (SHRIMP)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1.25 cm (½ inch) dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 cooked smoked sausages, such as Andouille*, sliced diagonally into 3 mm (1/8 inch) slices
- 1 large skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1.25 cm (½ inch) cubes
- 190 g (1 cup) brown (or white) rice
- 1 medium bell pepper (any color), cut into 1.25 cm (½ inch) dice
- 2 medium courgettes (zucchini), cut into 1.25 cm (½ inch) cubes (optional)
- 350 ml (1 ½ c) passata or crushed tomatoes
- 4 medium plum (roma) tomatoes, cut into 1.25 cm (½ inch) dice
- 2-3 teaspoons Cajun spice, or to taste
- 6-8 large, raw, king prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
* The sausages I used were Applegate’s chicken and turkey Andouille sausage
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, then sauté the onions for 1-2 minutes before adding the garlic. Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and aromatic.
2. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, then add the sausages, chicken and cook until the chicken turns white/opaque; season with a little of the Cajun spice.
3. Add rice, bell pepper, courgettes (zucchini), passata (or crushed tomatoes), plum (roma) tomatoes. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture starts to come to the boil.
4. Allow mixture to simmer, covered for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir every now and again to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan.
5. Season with Cajun spice, then stir in prawns (shrimp), allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until no longer opaque. Serve immediately. Enjoy!