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May 6, 2010 06:01 AM

Need jambalaya recipe for someone who doesn't like jambalaya

My husband loves jambalaya, and I've promised to make it for him next week (we've been married 10 years, and I've never made it). I, on the other hand, have never liked jambalaya, even though I was born and partly raised in Louisiana. I don't like smoked sausage, but I don't mind picking that out. I know I can put chicken and shrimp in it (if I can still get Gulf shrimp right now), and I don't like it too bitter or tangy on the tomato sauce. Can someone help me modify it?

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  1. "I don't like smoked sausage, but I don't mind picking that out"
    Do that!! --- Jambalaya can be made from any meats (chicken, ham, veal, beef, pork, game etc) you enjoy...Brown the meats (not Shrimp/Crawfish etc) along with your vegetables....add your stock and rice....Add shell fish at the end....Tomatoes/Tomato Products are optional! ~~~ I never put tomato products in Jambalaya. HTH


    3 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Bob

      Oh! I didn't realize tomato was optional. I can get on board with that. Thanks! (I usually like tomatoes, I just don't like canned tomatoes, they seem extra acidic).

      1. re: starbucksbrew

        I'm not a big fan of jambalaya myself, but I won't go near the red (tomatoey) kind. So make one w/o tomato.
        Uncle Bob's instructions sound good. It seems, however, that you should have some kind of sausage in jambalaya (maybe not), for the spiciness/hint of smoke--but I'm w/you, not a fan of generic smoked sausage. Do you like andouille?

        1. re: starbucksbrew

          Creole (New Orleans) jambalaya has tomato; Cajun (bayou country) jambalaya doesn't.

          There are as many kinds of jambalaya as there are cooks in Louisiana and days in the week. Pick a theme (meat or seafood) and then two, but no more than three, things that go together. That's all you need for a jambalaya. We sometimes made them with the leftovers from cleaning out the fridge. Quick and easy supper.

          I'm from Louisiana and I've had great jambalaya and some really awful ones. Find a combo that pleases you and you'll be fine.

      2. You should definitely try andouille, they're not very smoky at all and add a nice kick. I have an old jambalaya recipe that I've used for years. It does have tomatoes in it, that's what happens to a recipe when a yankee living in little italy gets it, but you can certainly leave it out, or use fresh - just add more stock to make up for the approx 2 cups of liquid that the tomatoes add. I would still use the tomato paste tho, which gives it a richer, deeper flavor, IMO.

        Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
        Serves 8-10

        6 chicken thighs -seasoned well with salt & pepper
        1 rope of smoked sausage, kielbasa or andouille (which is traditional but makes the whole dish much spicier), sliced & quartered
        1 large onion, chopped
        1 large green pepper, chopped
        2 large stalks of celery, chopped
        3 cloves garlic, chopped
        2 tsp. dried thyme
        ¼ tsp. cayenne
        ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
        1 tbsp. tomato paste
        1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
        4 cups chicken broth
        1 bay leaf
        2 cups long grain rice

        In a large heavy Dutch oven, heat some vegetable oil and brown the chicken thighs. Transfer to a plate. Pour off most of the fat. Brown the smoked sausage; set aside.

        Adding a little oil if the pan is dry, add onion, pepper and celery and sauté over medium-high heat. Add salt to help sweat the vegetables and cook down until almost browned, 10-12 minutes or more. Add garlic, thyme, cayenne & white pepper. Stir until fragrant. Add tomato paste and brown for another 3 minutes or so. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Pour in the broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper.

        Return the chicken, plus juices on plate, and smoked sausage to the pot. Add the rice, stirring to distribute. Cover and place in a 325 degree oven. Stir after 45 minutes; keep cooking until rice is tender. (You can also cook it on top of the stove, on low heat, for about an hour, but it can scorch if you don’t keep stirring it and that can make the rice gummy.)

        When done, remove bay leaf and chicken thighs. Shred meat, discard bones & skin. Add meat back to the rice and stir well.

        Can be garnished with sliced green onions. Reheats well; can freeze for a couple of months.

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