Recipe for the Cajun Jambalaya – a spicy rice dish with sausage, chicken, scampi and vegetables
Jambalaya is probably the most famous dish of Cajun cuisine, which originated in the area around Louisiana by mixing up different cooking cultures (French, Caribbean, Spanish, African). Jambalaya is very spicy and there are existing many variations which all have rice as a base, mixed with vegetables, seafood, smoked sausage (andouille), chicken and chili peppers. Basically, it is the Creole response to the Spanish paella.
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
2 chicken breast fillets
12 whole scampi
150 g of Andouille, Chorizo, Kolbasz or another hot salami
2 green bell peppers
2 stems celery (100 g)
1 can of tomatoes (400 g, drained) or 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
½ bunch of scallions
1-2 fresh chilis (Cayenne or Jalapeno)
2 cloves of garlic
500-700 ml vegetable or poultry broth
½ liter of white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Oregano
½ tsp paprika powder
½ tsp crossbutter
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups of rice
Peel the scampi and remove the intestine, then cut it lengthwise and set aside.
Then prepare the "Holy Trinity" of the Cajun-Cuisine: onions, green peppers and celery. Peel and dice the onion, remove the bell pepper seeds and cut the pods into small pieces, clean the celery and cut into narrow strips. Clean the spring onions and cut into fine rings.
If you use fresh tomatoes, remove their stems and chop them, as well as chop the can tomatoes. Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop. Core the chilis and chop finely.
Slice the Andouille sausage, rinse the chicken breast fillets, pat dry, remove any tendon residues etc., cut into 1 inch-cubes and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and sausage and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetables (peppers, celery, spring onions) and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften. Then add tomatoes, chilli, spices (thyme, oregano, cumin, pepper) and chicken, and add some broth and white wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the rice and the remaining broth and white wine and let it simmer with medium heat until the rice is cooked (about 15 minutes). Dont forget to stir occasionally. If necessary, add some water and season with salt and pepper. If the Jambalaya is too watery, let it evaporate with open lid.
Once the rice is tender, add in the shrimp and stir to combine. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked and pink for another 5 minutes (if you like, you can also sauté the shrimp briefly in a pan and then add to the dish).
Season to taste and serve hot with chopped parsley.
Image source: Fotolia # 77765328 © Brent Hofacker