Cooking hasn’t always been my thing, but it’s always been my Mom’s. Growing up she was always coming up with new creations, impressing my friends and our family with homemade donuts or Coq Au Vin or Beef Wellington or Cioppino…the list goes on, and if it isn’t obvious, we have been WAY spoiled with her talents. She still continues to surprise us all with her cooking skills; no recipe is “too difficult” or “too many ingredients” for her. She’s the one who opens up the fridge and whips up something based on what she has, or “eyeballs” everything, because who needs to be precise about measurements? She’s creative, adventurous, and made cooking look easy. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I took on an appreciation for food, and it’s been fun comparing recipe notes with her or asking for advice on what to make. She’s the real chef in the family, I wouldn’t know anything if I didn’t have her!
Jambalaya was a maj staple in our home–she’d make big batches and we would go through the leftovers for days without getting sick of it. When I asked if I could make her recipe, she had the oldest, 70’s-style recipe card from New Orleans with a TON of scribbled notes on it: what’s worked, what hasn’t and lose instructions. I had to call her and ask “what in the heck do I do with this?” She said, in true form, “I don’t do measurements, just eyeball it”. After narrowing down more specifically what I should buy and getting tips on what she’s done in the past, I was ready. This meal is easy, delicious and will feed a village! All the kudos goes to my wonderful chef of a Mom, this is ALL her.
P R E P
Start out by chopping up all the veggies so that they’re ready to easily add in. Chop chicken and sausage pieces, and then you’re all set to get started!
What you’ll need
- 1 large pot. I used my Dutch Oven, but any big stockpot should work.
- 1/4 cup of olive oil.
- 1 lb of chicken, cut and cubed. I did chicken breasts from TJ’s.
- 1 1/2 lbs of sausage. I did a combination of pork sausage and Chorizo. Chorizo was a game changer, I’d highly recommend using that.
- 2 cups of chopped white/yellow onion.
- 1 cup of chopped celery.
- 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper.
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped.
- 2-4 tablespoons of paprika. Depending on your love of paprika, you can alter this…my Mom’s recipe called for 1/4 cup of paprika.
- Hot sauce! Your favorite brand, and feel free to doctor this until it’s to your liking.
- 2 teaspoons of salt.
- 2 teaspoons of pepper.
- Sprinkle of cayenne. Add however much you can handle.
- 2 cups of long grain rice.
- 3-3 3/12 cups of chicken stock. I added a bit more at the end to keep it from drying out.
- Green Onions, chopped (definitely necessary, this is the best addition!)
- Jalapenos, chopped.
- Tomatoes, chopped.
- Hot sauce. Highly recommended.
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 8
- First things first: prep it all by chopping up the veggies, chicken and sausage.
- Pre-heat your large pot on medium heat with the olive oil. Once hot, add in chicken and sausage(s). Continue to cook on medium to medium low heat.
- Once the chicken is almost all the way cooked through (roughly 10 minutes), add in the garlic and vegetables (onion, celery and bell pepper). Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Feel free to cook until the veggies are tender to your liking.
- Add in paprika, hot sauce, salt and pepper; mix to combine.
- Pro Tip: Mom recommends adding a little brown sugar and Kitchen Bouquet (a seasoning). She swears by the brown sugar and I would have added it if I had it!
- Add in your rice (before the chicken stock). Make sure the rice is coated with all the spices and flavor in the pot before you add in the stock!
- Pour in Chicken Stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for a total of 30 minutes–every 10 minutes or so, be sure to quickly turn rice from top to bottom completely. The bottom will burn and the rice will turn crunchy if you’re not consistently turning it. I turned mine twice and it was perfect, but I used a Dutch Oven so the heating style may be different than your pot (aka you may need to turn more frequently). Continue to re-cover after every turn.
- Once cooked through, remove from heat. Make sure to do a taste test so you can doctor it up; I added more hot sauce and splashed a little more chicken stock in to make it more creamy and less dry. Your creation, so add what YOU think is best!
- Garnish with green onions (a MUST), chopped tomatoes, jalapenos and even more hot sauce. Enjoy!
POST COOKING NOTES
- The leftovers are unbelievably good and this is coming from a girl who is NOT a leftovers fan. Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days–it will legit last that long and the flavors hold up perfectly.
- I’d highly recommend cooking this for a big crowd or a dinner party because boy og boy, does it make a lot. My Mom usually makes this and divvy’s it up between me, my Brother, fellow friends, neighbors…you name it. This dish is her signature and I’m beyond honored to get to make it AND to debut it!
If you make this, be sure to tag me! @basickneadss
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