Nelson here today… I’m starting this story just before the meal is completely ready. The house smells amazing! Just a few days ago, we travelled to Italy (not really) with our meat lasagna and now we’ve come back across the pond to Louisiana for some southern cuisine. I love these types of meals… jambalaya and gumbo, mmmm!
I did bit of research for this one. This is a creole dish influenced by the Spanish and the French. Apparently, the Spanish wanted to make a dish like paella but without the saffron, which was a spice that was difficult to find in Louisiana. Tomatoes became a key part of the new dish.
I do really want to visit New Orleans one day. The food, music and southern hospitality really appeal to me. Until then, we’ll have to bring New Orleans to our home. Jambalaya has been around for years and there’s likely hundreds of versions of this dish around the web. So I decided to make my own version while trying to stay close to its roots. I hope it comes close to the versions made by our friends down south. One thing that’s a bit different with mine is that I used Portuguese chouriço instead of the typical Andouille sausage. Andouille sausage is a bit more difficult to find in our area and I think the smokey flavour of the Portuguese sausage suits the dish very nicely.
This version has chicken, ham, sausage and shrimp… that’s a lot of protein goodness in one pot. Oh, and speaking of pots, there’s only one pot needed to make this meal. Who doesn’t love a one pot meal?
[Insert dinner time here]
45 minutes have passed, I’m full after an amazing meal with my family, and I’m back at the computer now to tell you how this meal worked out. Liz, the kids, and I absolutely loved this meal. Of course, each of us admitted we ate too much and I think we’re all in a jambalaya coma right now. It was so worth it ;-). It may not be Louisiana, but I think we have a winner here.
Take a culinary adventure to a new part of the world without having to leave home, and always eat well, friends.
- 2 + 2 tbs olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1.3 lbs or 0.6 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lbs or 454g black tiger shrimp, devained, peel on
- 1.4 lbs or 0.625 kg smoked ham chopped into bite-size pieces.
- .75 lbs or 0.34 kg portuguese chouriço, cut in thin wheels (andouille sausage is perhaps the most popular for this recipe)
- 1 lbs black tiger shrimp
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and diced
- ⅓ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 cans (42 oz) San Marzano or plum whole peeled tomatoes with the sauce. Crush these in a bowl.
- 2½ cups long-grain rice
- 7 cups chicken stock
Creole spice mix:
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (most of our family likes this on the mild side, please add more if you like more kick)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- In a small bowl, mix together all the spices for the creole spice mixture.
- In a large pan, heat 2 tbs olive oil on medium high.
- Butterfly (cut down the middle) the chicken breasts and season with ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
- Brown the chicken in the hot oil (about 7 minutes).
- Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tbs olive oil to pan.
- Add onions, garlic, celery, red and green peppers, and chilli peppers.
- Sauté on medium high until unions are trans-lucent (about 6 mins).
- Add in creole spice mix and stir well. Continue to sauté for about 2 mins.
- Add chorizo.
- Add ham.
- Chop cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and to the pan.
- Stir ingredients well.
- Add tomatoes and stir once again.
- Add 7 cups of broth.
- Add bay leaves and parsley. Stir again.
- Raise heat to high, bring to a boil.
- Add rice, stir, reduce heat to medium low and cover.
- Let simmer for 40 minutes.
- Uncover and add shrimp.
- Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- The meal is ready. Serve hot!