Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish



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
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 35 min

Ingredients

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 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 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 1/2 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, uncooked (I use Uncle Ben's in the orange bag for this. Lundberg's also has one.)
  • 3 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 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions

  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!

More Great Recipes:
American|Cajun/Creole|Seafood|Shrimp|Chicken Thigh|Grains|Chicken|Brown Rice|Celery|One-Pot Wonders|Serves a Crowd|Entree

Reviews (62) Questions (5)

62 Reviews

LeeLeeBee January 13, 2016
This is one of my favorites. I usually use a bell pepper in addition to the pepper paste, and then increase the spice mix by about 50%.
 
krikri December 22, 2015
Very good. Modifications: chouriço mouro instead of andouille (hard to find in Portugal); did sausage and skinned not boneless chicken in dutch oven before taking them out and doing the mirepoix in the same pot; basmati instead of brown rice, put in after about 15 minutes of cooking the meat and then for 15 minutes more before adding the shrimp.<br />It was all very delicious and I will definitely make it again!
 
Marcy L. December 17, 2015
Delicious and easy. A great weeknight recipe. Thanks!
 
Caroline C. February 10, 2015
This made a really satisfying weeknight dinner. It took a little bit longer to simmer but, after letting it rest, the extra liquid absorbed and it became the perfect consistency. I followed the recipe exactly, other than using just a dutch oven and adding a handful of green peas while the shrimp were cooking. I served it with baked sweet plantains, which offset the mild spice of the Jambalaya. Glad to have the extra Cajun spice mix to try in other dishes, it's a nicely balanced combination. Thanks for a new go-to recipe! Also, just a heads up, there is a minor typo in the recipe: tried thyme (which also makes an apt and poetic description of dried herbs)
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen February 13, 2015
I'm glad you liked it Caroline! I will try to change the typo - thanks for picking that up!
 
sevenfaces June 21, 2014
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.
 
Claudia April 24, 2014
I made this last week (without paste). It was very filling and nicely seasoned. Held up well the next day for left-overs.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen May 2, 2014
Very glad it worked out for you Claudia! Thanks for commenting!
 
Chelsea March 20, 2014
I didn't have red pepper paste so I used a whole bell pepper. Came out great :)
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 25, 2014
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 :)<br />
 
MBE January 23, 2014
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.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 25, 2014
Thanks MBE - yes, browning it in one pan is a time saver and saves cleaning an extra pan! So glad you liked it!!
 
Laurelb January 22, 2014
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
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 25, 2014
so glad you and your husband like this, Laurelb! And thanks for letting me know!
 
Miriamp January 20, 2014
I assume you add scallions after the dish is cooked. Right?
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen January 21, 2014
Yes, sorry, Miriamp - just a little on top to finish the dish
 
adele93 May 15, 2013
would harissa work as a sub for the cajan as i don't want to go and buy all the separate spices?
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen May 28, 2013
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.
 
Gourmand1209 February 16, 2013
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!
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 13, 2013
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!
 
LeeLeeBee February 8, 2013
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.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 13, 2013
thanks for taking the time to comment and glad to hear your boyfriend liked it!
 
LeeLeeBee November 27, 2013
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.
 
M.C. S. February 3, 2013
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.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen March 13, 2013
so glad you liked it!! I love hearing how you've adapted it to what you had!<br />
 
Greenstuff December 3, 2012
Have you noticed that this recipe is noted on Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon's website? The guy likes his food.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen December 5, 2012
I can not believe it! I'm a big fan of his!
 
greatm31 October 31, 2012
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.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen November 10, 2012
glad you liked this. I love the bean addition! <br />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.
 
shs October 15, 2012
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?
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen October 19, 2012
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!
 
sbf-ct October 3, 2012
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!
 
sbf-ct October 3, 2012
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!
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen October 19, 2012
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.
 
Anne B. October 2, 2012
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.
 
Author Comment
healthierkitchen October 19, 2012
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.