After years of tooling with 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 agree. 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
fryer (or equivalent chicken pieces - white and dark meat), cooked
hot smoked sausage, thinly sliced
smoked ham, diced
raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
extra virgin olive oil
green or red bell pepper, chopped
large cloves garlic, minced
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
6 oz. can tomato paste
yellow onion, chopped
16 oz. cans diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh diced tomatoes with juice reserved
chicken broth, plus additional as needed (homemade preferred)
green onions, sliced thin, plus additional for garnish as desired
fresh or frozen okra (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce (Crystal recommended)
long grain white rice, rinsed under cold water in sieve until water runs clear)
Cut cooked chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Rinse rice (important), and then par-boil 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, saute' sausage slices over medium until cooked through; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the drippings. Deglaze sausage bits from bottom of pot with a splash of white wine.
Add oil to pot and saute' pepper, celery and onions 6-7 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and saute' 1 more minute.
Add diced tomatoes and juices, chicken broth and green onions to the pot and stir to fully incorporate ingredients. Add tomato paste and seasonings and stir to combine.
Stir in the par-boiled rice. Ad sausage, chicken and ham (and okra, if desired), and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
After most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and a consistent liquid balance has been achieved, add the shrimp, gently fold in until well distributed, and cook uncovered until shrimp are pink, about 3-7 minutes. IMPORTANT: shrimp to 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 the liquid balance during the final cooking stage, and ad additional broth if/as needed.