Jambalaya Will Make Everyone Happy

Jambalaya is a rice dish famous in the Creole cooking of Louisiana, a kind of Louisiana version of the Spanish paella.  In the Creole cooking of jambalaya, a cooking associated with New Orleans, they make it “red” through the use of tomato paste and/or tomatoes while in Cajun cooking, the cooking of the Acadians from French Canada, it is made “brown” without tomatoes.  Besides the rice, jambalaya is usually cooked with ham, chicken, sausage, shrimp, and oysters seasoned with herbs.  The tasso called for is a kind of Louisiana cured pork shoulder sometimes called tasso ham. You can order it on-line at CajunGrocer.com. Apparently, this word jambalaya comes from an old Provençal word jambalaia, which refered to an old dish made of chicken and rice.  But the famous Provençal poet, Nobel Prize winner, and gastronome Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914) claimed that the original jambalaya was an Arab dish.  This recipe is based on one by Marc Savoy of Eunice, LA that appears in various places on the internet.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Rice
Cuisine: Creole Louisiana
Serves: 4
  • ¾ pound bone-in chicken, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ pound smoked Andouille or Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • ¼ pound tasso, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Water
  • 2½ cups medium-grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning spice, such as Paul Prudhomme’s or Tony Chachere’s
  1. In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, cook, turning with tongs, the chicken in a little vegetable oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and tasso and cook for 10 minutes. Pour off the fat, is excessive, but keep the drippings in the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until soft. Add 5 cups of water and the Cajun seasoning spice. Bring to a boil over high heat and add rice then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook over low heat until rice is tender and the water absorbed, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.


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