How to Make Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a robust rice dish that evolved as Acadian settlers used the available Louisiana ingredients and the influence of native tribes and African slaves in a "make do" kind of way. You may want to prepare the Louisiana seasoning, rice, and sauce a day in advance. Serves eight.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 medium onions - chopped
  • 3 2/3 c. white rice (2 lb. bag)
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4-5 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Rendered fat from 3-4 strips of hickory-smoked bacon (for sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 5 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black peppers
  • 1 bunch of parsleys - chopped, for garnish
  • 5 tbsp. garlic powders
  • 2 green bell peppers - chopped
  • 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb. fresh large shrimp
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butters
  • 1/4 c. paprika
  • 4 green onions - chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh scallops
  • 3/4 c. fish stocks
  • 4 c. chicken stocks
  • 2 oz. smoked tasso hams - diced
  • 3-4 Cajun andouille sausages - chopped medium
  • 6 scotch bonnet peppers (for garnish)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salts
  • 5 1/2 oz. can tomato sauces
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 c. cayenne pepper
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  1. Preparing the Seasoning, Rice and Sauce

    • 1

      To make Louisiana seasoning, mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme and 1 tsp. salt.

    • 2

      Rinse rice under cool water until water runs clear to remove excess starch and prevent sticking.

    • 3

      Combine rice with 4 tbsps. butter, the chicken stock and 2 tsps. salt. Bring to a boil.

    • 4

      Lower heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all liquid. Reserve.

    • 5

      Melt 1 oz. bacon fat in a large, heavy pan.

    • 6

      Sauté the tasso ham, andouille sausages, onions, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic until ham and sausage are crisp and vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

    • 7

      Add 2 1/2 tbsp. Louisiana seasoning, the canned diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce and 1 bay leaf.

    • 8

      Cook 15 minutes.

    • 9

      Add green onions and seafood stock to the sauce. Taste for seasoning; add salt if necessary.

    • 10

      Cook, partially covered, 45 minutes over low heat.

    Making Jambalaya

    • 11

      Shell and devein shrimp.

    • 12

      Heat the remaining butter in large, heavy pan or skillet over medium heat.

    • 13

      Season chicken chunks with 2 to 3 tsp. Louisiana seasoning.

    • 14

      Sauté chicken for about five minutes, or until it is almost done.

    • 15

      Season the scallops and shrimp with another 2 to 3 tsp. Louisiana seasoning and add to pan.

    • 16

      Sauté until shrimp is pink and chicken is tender, about 2 minutes.

    • 17

      Add jambalaya sauce and more Louisiana seasoning to taste, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing).

    • 18

      Mix in the cooked rice and cook over medium heat. Jambalaya is ready when it moves in the pan.

    • 19

      Garnish with chopped parsley and scotch bonnet peppers.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use vegetable oil instead of bacon fat, but it doesn't have the same taste.

  • Don't overcook the shrimp, or it will get tough.

  • Consider serving with garlic bread and wine or hush puppies and beer, depending on the occasion.

  • Cayenne pepper is very hot. Use less than recommended for a milder dish.

  • Scotch bonnet peppers are the hottest variety available. Skip them for a milder dish.

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