Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cajun Jambalaya

I thought it only fitting to make something Cajun for dinner on Fat Tuesday.  Well, that was my original intention.  I thought I'd get a jump on things and make part of it last night, and finish it off tonight when I got home from work.  I had some leftover soup in the fridge for last night's dinner anyway.  Like I said, that was my original intention.  Once I got started with this Jambalaya there was no going back.  I got caught up in the moment.  Once that spicy aroma filled the air, I decided that soup could wait another day, and... who cares if we celebrated Fat Tuesday on Monday!  So Monday night was Jambalaya night.  I figured heck, this recipe serves four people anyway, we can have leftovers tomorrow.  Again, that was my intention, but Paul sort of fell in love with this Jambalaya.  He truly got into the spirit of Fat Tuesday and overindulged.  At the end of the night there was only one serving left.  I tucked it in the fridge and promised him that he could finish it off tonight.  Guess who's having soup?
This recipe is an adaptation of Emeril Lagasse's Jambalaya.  It is full of shrimp, boneless chicken and Andouille sausage.  I used chicken Andouille sausage that I purchased from Trader Joe's.  I'm sure that I'll be making this again real soon.  It only takes and hour to prepare from start to finish and could easily be doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd.
Cajun Jambalaya

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse, Food Network.com
Serves 4


  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, cleaned, deveined and chopped in half
  • 1 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice or Emeri's Essence
  • 6 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced  (2 links- I used chicken Andouille)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced  
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced 
  • 1 pickled jalapeño, chopped 
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Frank's hot sauce
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced & fire roasted tomatoes ( I used Trader Joe's Organic, Rotel is fine too)
  • 3/4 cup Basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock


  1. Place the cut-up chicken and shrimp in a bowl and toss with the Creole seasoning.  Set aside
  2. In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onion, red bell pepper and celery and cook over medium high heat until the onions are transparent.  
  3. Add the jalapeño and cook for one more minute.
  4. Add the garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, Frank's hot sauce, tomatoes, and rice.  Stir to combine and coat the rice.
  5. Add chicken broth, cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.  Stir mixture frequently while it is cooking.  It should be bubbling, but not a furious boil.  
  6. After 20 minutes, taste the rice to check for tenderness.  At this point the liquid should not be totally absorbed, but the rice should be tender.  It should look slightly "soupy".  
  7. Add the shrimp, chicken and Andouille to the pot.  Stir and be sure the meat is submerged.  Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes or until chicken and shrimp are done. (the Andouille is fully cooked).  Be sure to stir the pot occasionally while the meat is cooking. 
  8. Check for seasoning and serve....mine needed nothing more. 

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