New Orleans Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

by Casey Bradshaw

Jambalaya

Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a delicous tradition in the Bradshaw home.

So, I am a New Orleans girl, and if you know nothing else about New Orleans, you must understand that the food there is incredible!  Seriously, my husband, kids and I are going down to New Orleans to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family in just a few weeks, and we have already started talking about which restaurants we will be visiting while down there and what fried delicacies we hope to enjoy.  In my opinion, nothing says New Orleans like a big ole bowl of Jambalaya.

First, let me explain how you SAY this word:

It’s NOT Jam- (as in Strawberry Jam)- ba-lie-ya.

It’s Jum-ba-lie-ya.  Chicken and Sausage Jum-ba-lie-ya to be exact.

This dish is so yummy and delicious, plus it makes a ton of food which makes it perfect for a large crowd. I often fix this dish when I am making supper for another family (maybe they just had a baby or there was a death in the family). This recipe makes so much that I can give half of it, or more, to the family I’m preparing for plus have PLENTY leftover for my family to eat for two meals.

Now, there are several variations of jambalaya. Some recipes have a red/tomato base.  Some include seafood.  However, this recipe includes neither (although, you could easily add shrimp to this for a bonus).  Honestly, I like this brown version of jambalaya because it is hardly spicy which sometimes turns people off who aren’t from New Orleans.  I love spice and lots of flavor, but I understand that not everyone feels this way. This recipe is not spicy at all, but there are a few ways you could add some kick if you wanted.

Here we go:

Ingredients:
1/2 stick of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 lbs. chicken, uncooked and cut into bite-sized chunks
2 packages of smoked sausage, sliced into medallions or half moons
2 lb. box of white, long grain rice (I use Uncle Ben’s)
3 cans French Onion soup
3 cans beef broth
Cajun seasoning, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in butter until vegetables are softened, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Transfer sauteed vegetables to whatever pan you will be cooking the jambalaya in. You will need something quite large. If I am making an entire batch of jambalaya, I typically buy a disposable aluminum roasting pan.
4. Add the chicken, sausage, and rice to the vegetables in roasting pan. Pour three cans of French Onion soup and two cans of beef broth over the ingredients. Stir gently with a spoon, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, and cover tightly with foil.
5. Bake jambalaya for approximately one hour. Remove foil and check the moisture level of the rice. Add the final can of beef broth and stir. Recover with foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
6. Remove foil and stir. Check the done-ness of the rice. Cook, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes or until all remaining liquid is gone. (Your total oven cooking time is approximately 2 hours).

Serve with some hot, French bread and a green salad. Set out a bit of Cajun seasoning for sprinkling on a bit of heat if desired.

***One way to kick up the heat in this recipe is to use hot sausage instead of smoked sausage.  In fact, look for Andouille sausage at your grocery store.  It’s delicious and spicy!
***Another alteration is to use Turkey sausage instead of pork or beef for a lower fat version. It’s still wonderful and you can hardly tell the difference in taste.
***If you would like to make Jambalaya but don’t want to feed a large crowd or have endless leftovers, simply cut the recipe in half, but be sure to have enough cooking liquids (soup/broth) on hand to ensure your rice cooks thoroughly.

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this delicious meal! It is one of my family’s favorites!

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2 Comments to “New Orleans Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya”

  1. Anne says:

    We have made this recipe numerous times and love it! A great one to split when taking a meal to someone, or to freeze. Yum-o!

  2. Laura says:

    This recipe was wonderful! I like the tomato base but this was great. I actually made it in a big pot on the stove because I didn’t have any foil to cover it. I also just used andouille sausage and no chicken because I didn’t have it. It was still really good and I will definitely make it again. Thanks for posting this!