You all know I love easy and simple recipes. I tried to make this jambalaya recipe as simple as possible. Now I know you might be saying that I’m missing sausages from this jambalaya, but I wanted to make it a bit healthier and so I skipped them. OK fine, I did not have any sausages so please feel free to add a couple. But regardless whether you add sausages or not, this jambalaya was a hit in my house. My picky husband could not get enough, and he’s not a rice fan. I know he hates rice and pasta, what kind of a person is that? But he loved this jambalaya, it had just the right amount of spice in it, and the funny thing is as I was cooking this it didn’t taste spicy at all to me, so I kept adding more and more hot sauce, but I could really feel it when I ate it. So be careful with that.
Now for my curious friends, Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meat and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. Very simple, but such a delicious dish.
You’ll notice that I cooked the shrimp separately and added them to the jambalaya at the end when it finished cooking. This way the shrimp is cooked perfectly and it’s also perfectly seasoned. Another little trick I did here instead of using canned tomatoes and/or tomato sauce I used ready made basil marinara sauce. Seriously, you have to try this, it was perfect. I think I’ve used perfect too many times, but seriously this is how I feel about this jambalaya, it’s simply perfect!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used red)
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in small pieces (chicken breast works as well)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- 2 large dried bay leaves
- pepper to taste
- hot sauce to taste (I used 2 tbsp of Frank's hot sauce, but it depends on how spicy you want it)
- 2 cups basil marinara sauce (or canned tomatoes including the juice)
- 2 cups chicken stock, or water
- 1 cups long grain white rice (I used jasmine)
- 1 lb peeled, deveined large shrimp
- 1 tsp cajun spice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- green onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. In a large skillet or a dutch oven melt the butter and saute onion for 3 minutes until transparent. Add bell pepper, celery and chicken. Cook for 5 min or until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic, oregano, bay leaves and pepper.
- Add marinara sauce, chicken stock or water, rice and stir. Cook until it comes to a boil. Add hot sauce, I used about 2 tbsp of hot sauce and it was nice and spicy for me, but if you don't like it so hot, use less. Cover the dutch oven and place in the oven and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes until rice is cooked.
- In the meant time, clean the shrimp and season with cajun spice. Add the olive oil to a small skillet and heat the oil, then add the seasoned shrimp and cook about a minute per side, until it's pink and a bit crisp. You can cut the shrimp into small pieces or use it as whole.
- Add shrimp and green onions to the jambalaya and stir.
- Serve warm.