Wow this recipe has been sitting on my computer for so long I can't even remember when I first came across it! I've never actually had jambalaya before but every time I have heard of it, it sounded so delicious: chicken, shrimp, sausage, rice, and veggies all mixed together in a large pot and then seasoned with flavorful Cajun spices...what's not to love. So obviously when I found a recipe for this wonderful creation by none other than Emeril Lagasse I thought to try it out, especially after reading rave reviews.
The jambalaya turned out mouth-wateringly delicious with the perfect amount of heat that was present, but not overwhelming. I didn't exactly follow the directions to a T, improvising a little here and there, but I was extremely pleased with the results. Although the recipe provided instructions on how to make your own creole seasoning I decided to just go and buy some from the store...much easier and certain reviews complained that it was a little too salty. Also, I inadvertently chopped up a bunch of carrots before realizing that they weren't called for in the recipe, but since I had already made the effort I dumped them into the pot. Lastly, I couldn't find Andouille sausage at the grocery store so I used Chorizo instead. Even though I didn't make "Emeril's Jambalaya" in the end I think I hit all of the necessary notes and produced a result that my family really enjoyed.
Note: This is the original recipe with a few of my additions and some changes to cooking directions.
- 400 grams (about 30) pre-cooked shrimp
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
- 4 medium sized Andouille or Chorizo sausage
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp Cajun seasoning (plus some extra if you want in the end)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 1/2 cup rice
- 3-4 cups chicken stock (depending on if using white rice or brown)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the chicken with two tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning and work in the seasoning so that the chicken is evenly coated.
- In a large pot over high heat, heat up some olive oil and then put in the sausage. Cook the sausage until the outside has browned, about 2-3 minutes, making sure to flip it so that all sides are even. The sausage doesn't have to cook through, just brown.
- Remove the sausage from the pot and cook the chicken pieces, also making sure to brown them but don't worry about cooking them through. Once browned, remove from the pot.
- Drain the oil and any excess fat from the pot and return it to high heat with some more olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes, then add the celery, carrots, and bell pepper, stirring well to completely mix them in.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces and mix through.
- Stir in the rice and slowly add the chicken broth. If using white rice, start with 2 1/2 cups. If using brown rice, start with 3 1/2 cups.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the rice for 20-25 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Stir occasionally and, if needed, add more liquid if the rice has not become tender.
- Meanwhile, in a separate skillet heat the shrimp on high heat for about 1-2 minutes, making sure all of the excess water drains from them. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a small bowl and mix with the remaining tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.
- While the rice is cooking, finish preparing the sausage by slicing it into rounds.
- Once the rice is just tender, add all of the chicken, shrimp, and sausage to the pot and mix in thoroughly. Continue to cook until the meat is done, about 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.