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Cajun-Style Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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Serves 8 to 10

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

This is a traditional Cajun-style (brown) jambalaya, chock full of smoked meats with nary a tomato in sight. Although Louisiana-style ingredients are increasingly available these days, it may be difficult to find the sausages and tasso locally. Don’t forgo this recipe, though, because there are widely available substitutes (see the ingredient list below). Just don’t use breakfast or Italian sausage—their sage and fennel flavors have no place in jambalaya. The Creole seasoning is all-purpose, so both Cajun and Creole cooks use it.

  • 1 2-1/2- to 3-lb. chicken, giblets removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups), trimmings reserved
  • 3 medium stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup), trimmings reserved
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. fresh chaurice (or Mexican chorizo or other spicy fresh pork or beef sausage), casings removed
  • 1/2 lb. andouille (or kielbasa or other smoked sausage), casings removed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 lb. tasso (or ham), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. creole seasoning, preferably Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Hot sauce, preferably Crystal (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

Pat the chicken dry and season it all over with salt and pepper. Put the chicken breast side down on a roasting rack in a medium (9x13-inch or similar) roasting pan or flameproof baking dish. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Flip and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 45 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.

Pull off all of the meat, discarding the skin and reserving the bones; shred the meat into bite-size pieces, cover, and refrigerate.

Put the chicken bones in a 5- to 6-quart pot with the onion and celery trimmings. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Lower the heat and simmer until flavorful and reduced to about 6cups of liquid, 35 to 50 minutes. Strain the broth and measure it; you will need 6cups, so add water if necessary.

Heat the oil in a 7- to 8-quart enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (or other heavy-duty pot) over medium heat. Add the chaurice and use a wooden spatula to break it into small pieces. Raise the heat to medium high and add the andouille, tasso, onion, celery, bell pepper, and Creole seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, reserved broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and 3/4 tsp. salt; bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, undisturbed, just until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Check the rice for doneness in several places.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a fork, gently fluff the scallions into the jambalaya. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with hot sauce, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 540; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 37; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 52; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 750; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 100; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was awesome, makes a lot. My only criticism is the color, so next time I plan to add some red pepper. We also served leftovers to carpenters at our house and they were blown away.

This was just not that flavorful, though it is possible that my sausage was not well-spiced. I also thought there was just too much rice.

As my fiance likes to say... "Fine Cooking... You win again!" AWESOME recipe! LOTS of meat, so maybe eat a few meatless meals the day before. So good... highly recommend for a Wednesday or even a Sunday night meal. We even swapped a brown rice/wild rice blend instead of the white rice and it sill turned out amazing. Will definitely make again for many, many years!

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