Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish

By • March 17, 2011 • 57 Comments

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Author Notes: I've been playing with brown rice in this recipe for a while and this method seems to work pretty well. I have tried it in the oven, but stove top makes it easier to check the liquid level. I leave out one of the trinity of New Orleans style cooking, the green bell pepper, because I just don't like them. To use bell pepper, add about a half a pepper, diced, when you add your onion and celery. - healthierkitchenhealthierkitchen

Food52 Review: WHO: healthierkitchen is a D.C.-area home cook, mother and former attorney who is taking a stand against a family proclivity towards health issues by devoting herself to time in the kitchen, family dinners and nutritious home cooking.
WHAT: Richly spiced, protein-packed Jambalaya.
HOW: Six steps, one pot. Is there anything better?
WHY WE LOVE IT: There is nothing skimpy about healthierkitchen's brown rice version of this Bayou classic. Brimming with shrimp, chicken and andouille, this virtuous one-dish dinner feels absolutely indulgent. In fact, drbabs, who originally tested this recipe when it was a Community Pick, called it "something of a miracle". We couldn't agree more.
Food52

Serves 4 - 6

Jambalaya-ish

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp (you can also use crabmeat or crayfish if you can get them)
  • 2 links andouille sausage. If you prefer, use turkey or chicken andouille.
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can sub in about 2 cups leftover, cooked chicken diced up)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 nice large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper paste (I use this instead of bell pepper, but you don't need both. Also, if you don't already have this, just skip it)
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice mix (see below)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2.5 cups low or no sodium added chicken stock
  • 1 can (14.5) ounces) diced, fire-roasted, no salt added tomatoes (if you can't find fire roasted, use regular)
  • 1 cup medium grain brown rice or mekong flower rice (I use Uncle Ben's in the orange bag for this. Lundberg's also has one.)
  • 3 - 4 scallions, sliced

Cajun Spice Mix (this will be more than you need for this recipe. store the remainder in a sealed container for next time)

  • 1.5 tablespoons paprika
  • 1.5 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon tried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  1. Peel and devein shrimp and set aside.
  2. slice andouille sausage into approximately 1/2 - 1 inch chunks. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, turning once or twice until nicely browned. Remove sausage from pan and reserve. If you want to use raw chicken thighs, brown them here and then set aside with the sausage.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil and then the diced onion and celery (and green pepper if you're using it). When the onion begins to soften, add the garlic and cook another few minutes until onions are translucent.
  4. If using red pepper paste, add that to the pot and then the spice mix and flour. Mix well and let cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and brown rice. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add in the sausage (and chicken too if you're starting with raw) and cover pot. Let simmer for about 55 minutes. Check the liquid after about 40 minutes to make sure it hasn't cooked down too much. If it seems dry, add another half cup to a cup of stock or water.
  6. Add in the shrimp (and chicken if you're using already cooked) and let simmer, covered, for another five minutes or so.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
Jump to Comments (57)

Tags: shrimp

Comments (57) Questions (3)

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Wrong_apple

3 months ago sevenfaces

I love an easy one-pot meal! Didn't have onion powder or dry mustard but overall the flavour still really packed a punch. I was impressed with how good this tasted considering how little effort it took. Yum yum yum.

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5 months ago Claudia

I made this last week (without paste). It was very filling and nicely seasoned. Held up well the next day for left-overs.

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5 months ago healthierkitchen

Very glad it worked out for you Claudia! Thanks for commenting!

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6 months ago Chelsea Rodgers

I didn't have red pepper paste so I used a whole bell pepper. Came out great :)

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6 months ago healthierkitchen

Chelsea - the bell pepper is actually the traditional ingredient and to some, shouldn't be messed with. I just happen not to like bell pepper, probably the only vegetable I really don't care for :)

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8 months ago MBE

A darn good week-night Jambalaya! Only adjustment I made was to brown the andouille and chicken in the Dutch Oven (actually used a 3.5 qt Le Cruset Braiser) that I was using for the rest of the recipe - one pot to clean and you don't lose all that great fond/flavor. Leftovers were as good if not better than the first night.

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6 months ago healthierkitchen

Thanks MBE - yes, browning it in one pan is a time saver and saves cleaning an extra pan! So glad you liked it!!

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8 months ago Laurelb

Fabulous. Every time I make it my husband says love much he loves it. A perfect company dish with a green salad and crusty French bread

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6 months ago healthierkitchen

so glad you and your husband like this, Laurelb! And thanks for letting me know!

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8 months ago Miriamp

I assume you add scallions after the dish is cooked. Right?

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8 months ago healthierkitchen

Yes, sorry, Miriamp - just a little on top to finish the dish

Stringio

over 1 year ago adele93

would harissa work as a sub for the cajan as i don't want to go and buy all the separate spices?

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

you can try a premade cajun spice mix. they're available at most groceries. I think Tony Cachere's is one of the more well known.

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over 1 year ago Gourmand1209

We tried this with frozen thanksgiving turkey (thank you food saver) and thanksgiving turkey stock. We also spend $5 on some turkish red pepper paste(don't skip this, regardless of recipe writers comments - it is worth it) and frankly were really amazed at how well this turned out. Good spice and heat, but not overpowering, also reminescent of jambalaya dishes we have had out and in New Orleans! Kudos!

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much gourmand1209! I love the taste of the pepper paste too! There's a thread on the hotline today about it - and someone even located a recipe to make some! Your jar will last you a while and doesnt go bad in the fridge. It's great in lots of red lentil soups!

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over 1 year ago LeeLeeBee

I physically had to restrain my boyfriend from getting a third helping so I could have leftovers for lunch! This was fantastic and a new favorite weeknight dinner.

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

thanks for taking the time to comment and glad to hear your boyfriend liked it!

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10 months ago LeeLeeBee

We can't find andouille in Australia, so I substitute Spanish chorizo and replace 1/3 of the normal paprika with smoked paprika. This recipe is in our regular rotation, so delicious.

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over 1 year ago M.C. Stebbins

I made this for my husband and me last night and it was AMAZING and so easy. I used Trader Joe's brown jasmine rice and it cooked up beautifully per your recipe. I could not find andouille sausage, so I used hot chourico sausage - delicious. We are looking forward to having the leftovers today.

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

so glad you liked it!! I love hearing how you've adapted it to what you had!

Chris_in_oslo

almost 2 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

Have you noticed that this recipe is noted on Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon's website? The guy likes his food.

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

I can not believe it! I'm a big fan of his!

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almost 2 years ago greatm31

This was fantastic! I used whole foods pork andouille sausages (removed from the casings, and browned as little disk-shaped sausages). I also found I could cook the whole thing in one pot (didn't need the skillet, just cook the sausages in the pot, remove, brown the chicken, remove, add veggies and continue with recipe). That helped with cleanup. Other minor changes: I too am a little worried about my salt intake so I only put 1/2 tsp of salt in the seasoning--still delicious. I also threw in a can of white beans with the broth, just cause I thought it would be good (it was!). Now I'm not sure what to use the leftover seasoning for--any ideas? I thought it might be good as a dry-rub for chicken.

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

glad you liked this. I love the bean addition!
I save the spice mix in a small spice container and use it whenever Cajun spice is called for. I make this recipe from time to time and also make red beans and rice with turkey keilbasa from WF.

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almost 2 years ago shs

Can Thai red chili paste be substituted for the Turkish red pepper paste or do you think it's better to skip it altogether if I don't have the Turkish?

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

thai red chili paste is much hotter and a different flavor- If you don't have the pepper paste I'd just leave it out or use a fresh red or green bell pepper diced up with the celery. Hope you like it!

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almost 2 years ago sbf-ct

I had to tweek a bit... first off, I started too late at night, but was lucky in that I happened to have just the right leftovers waiting... I sauteed the pepper (I used one whole red), onion, celery garlic.. added broth, tomatoes, spices.. it was a bit spicy for my little people (3 & 5 year olds just can't appreciate a smidge of heat), so I added a little extra broth and about a tablesoon of sugar to kill the heat.. I let that boil a bit because I had a mountain of leftover rice, leftover shredded chicken and fresh shrimp.. turned to be only about (8 weight watchers points if anyone cares).. I didn't have sausage but imagine it'll be even better with it.. it's DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great, easy recipe!

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almost 2 years ago sbf-ct

I had to tweek a bit... first off, I started too late at night, but was lucky in that I happened to have just the right leftovers waiting... I sauteed the pepper (I used one whole red), onion, celery garlic.. added broth, tomatoes, spices.. it was a bit spicy for my little people (3 & 5 year olds just can't appreciate a smidge of heat), so I added a little extra broth and about a tablesoon of sugar to kill the heat.. I let that boil a bit because I had a mountain of leftover rice, leftover shredded chicken and fresh shrimp.. turned to be only about (8 weight watchers points if anyone cares).. I didn't have sausage but imagine it'll be even better with it.. it's DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great, easy recipe!

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks for giving this a try. Glad to hear that it work sout for WW! You could try halving the spice mix for your kids and adding a little more in for you if you try it again. Or, cut the chili powder in the spice mixture.

Stringio

almost 2 years ago Anne Bennett

My mother always cooked her jambalaya rice separately and added it to the sauce at the end. I should have done this here: it took over an hour to get the brown rice cooked in the sauce, which became thicker and thicker as it cooked down. By the time the rice was fully cooked, it had begun to break apart into smaller shards. Not pretty.

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

I'm so sorry the rice didn't work out for you. What type did you use? It usually takes me close to an hour simmering, but I've never had that problem with the rice.

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almost 2 years ago sbf-ct

This sounds wonderful healthierkitchen... I'm going ditch the sausage (only because I haven't got any and it's pouring rain outside), and cross my fingers that the kids like it!! I think it sounds great, but is it spicy? It doesn't look like it, but it does have jumbalaya in the name...

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Peter you're absolutely right that I need to edit the ingredients to reflect that the rice goes into the pot uncooked and the recipe to add to garnish with the scallions as the pot comes off the heat. So sorry! Glad you liked it anyway!!

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

except that I now realize that I have no idea how to edit a recipe in this new format! Peter, if you see this please let me know! Thanks.

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over 2 years ago Peter

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

I just made this for my family tonight and just wanted to let you know that it was a HUGE hit. Everyone loved it, including my brother-in-law who's prone to heartburn and my sister who's been dieting for the last 3 months -- she took THREE portions and she said to let you know she hasn't even had *seconds* of anything all year.

It was so easy to make (especially if you have the time to mise-en-place everything) and needless to say this will be in my permanent rotation.

(A few very minor notes, 1) the ingredients call for scallions but the recipe never tells you what to do with them. 2) I think the recipe could be a bit more clear that the rice you use should be added to the pot raw. I started cooking the rice in a rice cooker when it dawned on me that the rice would end up cooking during the simmer process in the pot.)

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Wow Peter you are right I need to make those edits but I don't see how to do that with the new format. If you see this, please let me know! The scallions are just a garnish and yes, I should state that the rice in the ingredient list is uncooked. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it, though!

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over 2 years ago R J

I have heard that black rice has a lower glycemic rating, can I substitute black rice for the brown? Thank you RTichard