This recipe is a long-standing loyal member of my arsenal of dependable and favorite dinner recipes. I have been making it for many, many years and to date, my family or friends have never tired of it. It was also a favorite at my cooking classes when the subject was easy weekday or entertaining dinner recipes.
Authentic Louisiana jambalaya is spicy. But since it is true in any family or crowd that the majority will want it mild to medium and perhaps one or two will want it spicy, this recipe is the former. To make it spicier you can substitute andouille sausage for the keilbasa and increase the amount of cayenne pepper.
I also prefer “converted” rice (as in Uncle Ben’s) because the rice kernels tend to stay separated better than if you use a basic long grain rice.
The recipe can easily be doubled to accommodate a larger crowd. And you can substitute peeled and deveined prawns for the chicken.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite size pieces
- ½ pound “kielbasa”-style sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into ¼-inch slices
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice (I prefer Uncle Ben’s “converted” rice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet; add chicken and cook and stir until lightly browned and cooked through about 8 minutes; remove chicken to an oven-proof baking dish and set aside.
- Add sausage to the pan and cook and stir until lightly browned, about 3 minutes; remove and add to the reserved chicken.
- If needed, add additional 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan; add onions, green pepper and celery and cook and stir until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add oregano, thyme, cayenne, white pepper and salt; cook and stir 30 seconds just to release flavors; remove from the pan and add to the chicken and sausage.
- Add bay leaf, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth to the pan; bring to a boil, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan, then remove from the heat and stir into the chicken vegetable mixture, along with rice.
- Cover and bake until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Season to taste with salt if needed.