Red Creole Chicken Sausage Jambalaya
A Stove to Oven Recipe for Cajun Jambalaya
Cajun or ‘Creole’ jambalaya is a rice dish with meats, tomatoes, and spices galore. Depending on the area of Louisiana, the rice dish is either ‘red’ with tomatoes or ‘brown’ without tomatoes. I did not cook jambalaya for a long time although my family seemed to love the Cajun rice dish. As a cook, I did not like the mushy rice outcome of the dish or the burnt layer of rice on the bottom of the pot. So many years passed, and I modified a recipe to fix these problematic issues. The key to the mushy rice is to carefully measure the water, including the water from the strained tomatoes. And a trip from the stove to the oven, allows for even cooking in a Dutch oven and eliminates the burnt layer of rice on the bottom of the pot. Enjoy!
Chicken Sausage Jambalaya
Total time: About 2 hours
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 tablespoons garlic minced (6 cloves garlic)
- 4 creole or Roma tomatoes, chopped (or substitute 1 – 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes)
- Seasonings –
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-8 green onions, tops and bottoms, chopped
- 2 cups raw long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence (recipe follows)
- 2 pounds cooked or raw chicken, chopped (or substitute chicken pulled from a cooked rotisserie chicken)
- 2 – 12-ounce packages of smoked sausage (Cajun andouille preferred), sliced
- Liquid to total 4 cups – from tomatoes, plus 1 cup chicken broth, plus 3 beef bouillon cubes, plus water to reach 4 cups
- Emeril’s Essence
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Chop and strain tomatoes; add the tomato liquid to a 4-cup measuring cup. Place the crushed strained in a bowl and set aside. Add one cup chicken broth, 3 beef bouillon cubes and water to a total of 4 cups. NOTE: Use a microwave proof measuring cup if possible so that the liquid can be heated to dissolve the beef bouillon cubes. If your measuring cup is not microwave-proof, use warm water and crush the bouillon cubes to help them dissolve. Set it aside.
- Use a large (7 quart) heavy Dutch oven. Brown the cooked chicken and 2 tablespoons Emeril’s essence in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. (If your chicken is not already cooked, this step not only seasons it but cooks it as well!) Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set it aside.
- Brown the smoked sausage in the Dutch oven. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and a second tablespoon of oil if needed. Stir and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven until brown bits have come loose and vegetables begin to brown slightly.
- Add crushed strained tomatoes, seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the 4-cup liquid mixture. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven. Add the bay leaf and green onions. Bring the pot to a simmer.
- Stir in the rice and return to a simmer. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake until liquid is fully absorbed, and rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Ralph and Kacoo’s, Daniel Gritzer, and Emeril Lagasse.