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Author Notes: After years of tooling and re-tooling our go-to Jambalaya recipe, we think we've come up with the best Jambalaya we've ever tasted, and our friends think so, too! Loaded with sausage, shrimp, ham, chicken and Cajun flavors, we think you'll agree this is the perfect dish for Mardi Gras and chilly winter nights. —Sarah
- 1 3-5 pounds Fryer (or equivalent chicken pieces - white and dark meat) cooked
- 1 pound Hot smoked sausage
- 1 cup Smoked ham, diced
- 1-2 pounds Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons EVOO
- 2/3 cup Green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 Large cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 cup Celery, chopped
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup Yellow onion, chopped
- 2 16 oz. cans tomatoes - diced (or equivalent fresh)
- 3 cups Chicken broth (plus additional as needed)
- 1 cup Green onions, sliced thin
- 1 cup Fresh or frozen okra (optional)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 3 cups Lon grain white rice, rinsed under water 3 times until water runs clear
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Hot sauce (suggested: Crystal)
- Cut chicken meat into small pieces and set aside.
- Rinse rice (important), and then par-cook by bringing 6 cups of water to a boil and cooking the 3 cups rice according to package directions, covered, for 10 minutes. Once done, set aside in a bowl.
- In a large pot, sauté sausage till cooked through; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the drippings, if necessary. Also, deglaze sausage crust from bottom of pot with a splash of white wine, if necessary.
- Add oil to pot and sauté pepper, garlic, celery and onions 5-6 minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.
- If whole or fresh tomatoes are used, chop and reserve liquid. Add tomatoes with liquid, broth and green onions. Stir in tomato paste, spices and seasonings.
- Stir in rice. Add sausage, chicken & ham (and okra, if desired), cover and cook 30-45 minutes over low heat, stirring every 10 mins or so.
- After most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and a consistent water balance has been achieved, add shrimp, gently stir in until well distributed, and cook until shrimp are pink, 3-7 minutes. IMPORTANT: Shrimp do NOT take long to cook. Watch them carefully.
- Serve with warm, crusty bread. This dish may be made ahead and reheated before serving. Freezes well. NOTE: Watch liquid balance during the cooking process, and add additional broth if/as necessary.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You're Most Proud Of