Monday, May 13, 2013

New Orleans Cajun Jambalaya

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My Favorite of all the Cajun recipes I took home from one of my too infrequent visits to New Orleans!

This recipe mostly came from a class I took at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  If you are ever in the Crescent City, do take a morning and attend a class.  Best bargain in town as you cook your lunch while you are there.  The instructors are all native to the region, have a life time of experience and stories and is as much fun for cooks as non-cooks.  And you will leave with recipes and the know how to do this at home.

here's one of the stories...

Late one evening a traveling gentleman stopped by a New Orleans inn which had little food remaining from the evening meal. The traveler instructed the cook, "Jean, balayez!" or "Jean, sweep something together!" in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as "Jean balayez."

Drink a little (or a lot) Rum, Beer,  hurricane or sazerac cocktail and you start slurring your words... Jean balayez becomes JAMBALAYA!

That's probably not true, but makes a great story.

This recipe is one that I adapted from one I learned during my visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking. By far, it was the most popular of the main course recipes I learned during my trips to New Orleans. Easy Peasy, so lets get to it.

I have posted a slightly different version of a Jambalaya recipe, I just added a couple of cans of diced tomatoes.

OK... Here;s What I did...

Mise en Place (first, assemble your ingredients)


1/2 cup oil (divided)
2 pounds meat from a Rotisserie Chicken boned, cut into 1 inch cubes I used both Breasts, plenty of meat)..
2 pounds Andouille Sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
......Save 1/2 pound to grill and use as accents
4 cups Onion
2 cups Green Pepper (I had a yellow as well)
2 cups Celery
3 Tablespoons Garlic
5 cups Chicken Stock
2 Cans (15 Oz) Diced Tomatoes with juice,
4 cups Long Grained Rice
1/4 cup Cajun Spices
1/2 cup Green onion

Cooking Instructions...
  • Optional - For brown Jambalaya, add heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar to your roux just before adding vegetables (see next step), for red, add Paprika for color
  • In a large stock pot , make a roux with equal parts 1/4 cup oil and flour. It is VERY important to start with a clean pan. It must be free of food particles to make a successful roux. Add vegetables and later garlic to roux and stir continuously until vegetables reach desired tenderness.
  • Add the Tomatoes with their juices
  • Add Chicken and sausage to vegetables, continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in stock and Cajun seasonings. Bring to boil
  • For red Jambalaya, add 1/4 cup paprika and you can substitute 1/2 the stock for 1/2 tomato juice or V-8 juice.
  • Add rice, DO NOT STIR, but push gently on rice to get it under liquid and return to boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN POT, DO NOT STIR.
  • While the pot is cooking, slice 1/2 pound Andouille Sausage and fry in sauce pan till pretty char marks appear.
  • After 25 minutes, turn rice from top to bottom, mix meat and rice evenly. There may be some burnt bits on the bottom, but that is FILLED with flavor, and should be mixed in as well/
  • Dish it up, add sausage and green onions as accent.
  • Have Hot sauce and additional seasonings available for people who want to taste the Cajun experience to their fullest.

So, here it is.  One of my all time favorite dishes.  FILLED with flavors, and certainly brings back very fond memories of a favorite city to vacation in!

It really does all come together quickly... not a 30 minute meal, but depending on your knife skills it is less than 30 minutes hands on cooking.  Especially if you use one of my beloved Store Bought, Pre-cooked, Pre-seasoned Rotisserie Chicken.

About the only unusual method that might need more explanation would be the rice step...

Just be sure to add, tap down so that the rice is seated in liquid (do not mix yet, just tap down.  Then cover and DO NOT LOOK FOR 25 MINUTES.  the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid and steam.  if you lift the lid, the steam escapes, the top cools and the rice does not cook through.

Biggest tip... DO NOT LIFT THE LID FOR 25 MINUTES!!!


Yes indeed, one of my new favorite "52 Uses for a Rotisserie Chicken" (now over 75!!!).

I am trying something a bit new this round of recipes... My own little culinary challenge of seeing just what I can do with a single rotisserie bird.

This is week Number FOUR, chicken number FOUR... and the first recipe I made from the blessed bird. If you click HERE, you will see my page devoted to my "52 Uses for a Rotisserie Chicken" (now over 75!!!).  Scroll down to the bottom and you will see some of the possibilities of what you can make with a single bird (week one, seven dishes, week 2 a record EIGHT dishes all from the same bird, etc.).

My Goals for the experiment......
  1. Eat Well... Make something that tastes good.
  2. Recipes for 2 people. One of the great things about a rotisserie chicken is the versatility fr a quick meal for small dinners (breakfast and lunch). Save the BIG cooking for another day, let's have something for just my wife and myself (and young couples, empty nest couples and singles)
  3. Versatility... Just how many rotisserie chicken recipes are out there???
  4. Keep Track of the costs... Life on a budget, need I explain more?
  5. Go beyond the basic recipes and add some tips and HOW TO Photos appropriate for less experienced cooks so that indeed...ANYONE CAN COOK THIS!
I hope the tips and extra photos helped...

I did break the rules... I LOVE leftover Jambalaya.  It is actually better the next day when all of the flavors and spices have mixed, mingled and congealed!  So, instead of a dish for 2 people, I made a full serving that easily serves 8 people... Or just me for a week

So, as to cost for this dish....

The chicken averages out to a dollar per recipe.... $2
The Sausage was on sale, $4
The Vegetables were $4
The Rice was a Dollar $1
The cans of Tomatoes were $2
The Tomato Juice was $1

I think I am also going to make this a controversial addition to me list of "52 Recipes for Soup, Chowder and Chili". (work in progress, but I have a bunch posted already).  After all, anything that uses 5 cups of Chicken Stock can't be dismissed so quickly as  not a soup... Can it???

And as always, if you like this recipe and think you might want to give it a try, pin this to your Pinterest Board and be sure to follow me on Pinterest if you want to see the rest of my 52 Ideas!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"  (Now close to 100!)...I am so confused... $5.49 for a fully cooked, fully seasoned Oven Roasted, Rotisserie Chicken. Yet shop in the raw meat department and most raw chickens are at best $8 each and usually far closer to $10. Anyone have an answer??? Me either. So, I can either rail against the machine, or learn to embrace the beauty that is the $5 chicken! In this pin are recipes I have made, and recommend. MORE than 52 (I just can't stop)..
You get the idea.  From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking).  More than enough ideas for that store nought bird to shine with just a little extra work


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1 comment:

  1. Your recipe reminds me New Orleans Bar and Grill Cajun Jambalaya.. I still have the taste in my mouth... will try your recipe hope it will have same taste..