I feel like I need to preface this post with a statement that I’m from the state of Tennessee, and I never even tried jambalaya until I was 18. This is not a family recipe, and I’m not claiming to be a Louisiana cuisine expert here. Honestly, I feel like it should be entitled ‘A Tennessee Girl’s Take on Jambalaya.’
That being said, my husband and our Louisiana native friends have all sang the praises of this recipe… so that makes me feel a little more legit, even though I have no Cajun blood running through my veins.
So… Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya.
I was a bit terrified to make jambalaya at home, not knowing how it would turn out. My husband makes an incredible gumbo, and I’ve perfected my mother-in-law’s étouffée recipe, but neither of us knew much about jambalaya other than we both really enjoy it, especially during the fall months.
Enter the Something to Talk About: Occasions We Celebrate in South Louisiana cookbook from the Junior League of Lafayette, La. We were gifted this guide from a friend’s parents when we married almost four years ago, and it’s come in handy for all kinds of Louisiana-centric dishes. And when we made the decision to make jambalaya one Saturday, I did some research.
Turns out, the jambalaya recipe in this cookbook makes enough for at least 18 folks… so I cut the recipe down significantly and tweaked it after researching the ingredients. And the first time out of the gate, it was a home run.
This Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is a pretty simple dish, and it’s quite delightful.
If you like it spicy, add some more cayenne pepper. One and a half teaspoons should be more than enough. We did this one time, and my mouth was on fire. Winston and our Louisianan friends were sweating… And if you’d like it a bit more tame, heat wise, half the cayenne, and you should be good to go.
For me? This seasoning combination was pretty darn perfect, and paired with the spicy sausage and chicken and rice, it goes down so easily.
We’ve been trying to make some more traditional tailgate recipes at our home this football season since we aren’t attending any more games in the foreseeable future. And this recipe fit right in. In fact, it has already been added to the rotation of regulars!
Here’s how you can make your own, no matter where in the world you call home:
- 1 lb. hot pork sausage (since I can't get andouille here regularly, I've used hot Italian sausage, and it works like a charm)
- 1 lb. chicken tenderloins
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions, roughly diced
- 2 green bell peppers, roughly diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3⅓ cups unsalted chicken broth
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups white rice, rinsed and uncooked
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the sausage whole, turning occasionally as the sides brown. Once all the sides have browned and are crisp, remove from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the cooked sausage into rounds, and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the olive oil, then the chicken tenderloins to the oil and drippings. Cook the chicken on both sides until cooked through, then remove from the pan. Shred the chicken tenderloins, and set aside with the sausage.
- Lower the heat to medium, and add the onions, bell peppers and garlic to the Dutch oven. Sauté until tender.
- Add the sausage and chicken to the vegetables, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until everything has blended together.
- Pour in the chicken broth, salt, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in the rice, then reduce the heat to low and cover the Dutch oven. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until rice is tender and all the liquid has evaporated.
- Serve warm, and enjoy immediately!
Do you like jambalaya? Have you made it at home before?