Authentic Jambalaya might be the ultimate one-pot dish. With its origins in New Orleans and based on Cajun and Creole cuisine, Jambalaya is a one-pot meal easily prepared any night of the week.
There are different versions of Jambalaya. Some versions have Sausage, shrimp, and seafood. Others will have two different types of meat; another may have sausage and crayfish. The biggest differences you might find are the Creole and Cajun versions.
I don’t want to give you too much of a history lesson. However, it’s important to mention why there are differences and why there may be differing opinions on what can be considered authentic Jambalaya.
Jambalaya is both a Creole and Cajun dish. The difference is subtle yet essential. Typically, if there are tomatoes, it is the Creole version. If the dish is brown (which comes from browning the meats and vegetables) it is the Cajun version. Both are delicious and worth trying. This recipe is a Creole version because it has tomatoes. (Glazed over history lesson, I know).
A quick note, this recipe is close to an authentic Jambalaya. You may need to make substitutions based on the availability of ingredients. First, there will be the holy trinity, which is onion, bell pepper and, celery (this is non-negotiable and should be easy to make). Second, we will use Andouille Sausage; however, you may be unable to find Andouille. In this case, you can substitute a good quality smoked sausage. We will also be using wild-caught tail-on shrimp. You can substitute the best shrimp you can find or crayfish if you can get them.
Let me know what you think about the Jambalaya. Do you prefer the Creole or Cajun version?
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced tomato or canned diced tomato
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 dashes of Tabasco
1/2 cup chopped green onion, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound medium wild-caught tail-on shrimp, deveined
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the andouille sausage and saute for 5-8 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set it aside
- Add the onion, celery, and bell peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the tomato, garlic, cayenne, dried oregano, dried thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are mixed well and the pan begins to get dry.
- Add the stock and bring it to a rolling boil. Stir in the rinsed white rice, add the sausage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Return to a boil, and reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of the green onions, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice, and the shrimp, and stir well.
- Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to steam, for 20 minutes, before serving. (If you want to cook your shrimp for a little longer, or if they are larger, add them after 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes).
- Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup green onions and 1/4 cup parsley.
If you want more heat, add additional hot sauce at the time of serving.