This flavorful jambalaya is also perfect for a wintertime family meal – with an emphasis on comfort food! Make a big batch for Sunday night supper and enjoy leftovers in your brown bag lunch the next day too.
Why This Works: The recipe comes from the famous Chicago Cajun restaurant Heaven on Seven. That alone should serve as the reason why this works – their New Orleans kitchen cred is real and damn tasty too. The recipe is also pretty easy, once you get past all the chopping during the prep stage.
We made this in bulk (3 double-batches – please keep that in mind when looking at the photos) about a month in advance of the party, omitting the rice before freezing the jambalaya in gallon-size freezer bags laid flat to save space. After thawing in the refrigerator, we put the jambalaya back on the stovetop the day before the party to doctor it up by adding cooked rice and adjusting the seasonings.
The Playlist: We’ve lost many great musicians during 2016 including Leon Russell, whose work held great meaning for me in my formative years. Please enjoy his bluegrass interpretation of the Hank Williams classic Jambalaya (on the Bayou).
It helps if you love Andouille sausage as much as I do, it’s the dominant flavor. Of course you can dial that up or down by adjusting the balance of proteins: chicken, sausage, and shrimp. I usually omit the shrimp and increase the amount of cluck and oink, but it’s up to you.
You also drive the hotness quotient – add more or less hot sauce and cayenne to suit your taste. I kept it mild for the party and offered bottles of hot sauce nearby for guests to individually calibrate their servings.
Of course this dish is a natural for Mardi Gras (Tues Feb 28, 2017) but I think you’ll find it deserves a place in your regular rotation of super-delicious, much-requested big batch meals.
Recipe source: Heaven on Seven
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ lb. smoked sausage, sliced (such as Andouille)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 16 oz. can tomatoes, drain and reserve the liquid
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock or water
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup converted rice
- 1 ½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 lbs. peeled shrimp
- ½ lb. boneless cooked chicken, cubed
- In a large heavy Dutch oven, sauté sausage until lightly browned. Remove from pot.
- Sauté onions, bell peppers, celery, green onions, and garlic in the meat drippings until tender.
- Add tomatoes, thyme, pepper, and salt. Cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in rice.
- Mix together liquid from tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce to equal 2 ½ cups. Add to the mixture in the Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add raw shrimp, chicken, and sausage and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes until rice and shrimp are done.