In my opinion, there are two types of jambalaya—Cajun and Creole. The main difference is that in the Creole version, the rice is cooked in a tomato-y sauce that might include shrimp along with meat and sausage. The Cajun approach is more rustic. I prefer the way the chicken and sausage flavor blend into the rice in the Cajun version, creating a dish with a robust meaty flavor. Searing and caramelizing the meat and onions individually prior to simmering everything together develops not just color but a deeply browned taste.Reducing the chicken stock concentrates the flavor and adds a unique saltiness that you just can’t achieve by adding salt. I call it the MSG effect. (Be sure to add the vegetable trimmings to the chicken stock.) This dish becomes even more flavorful after it sits for a while, and it’s delicious at room temperature.–Donald Link
LC Cajun Cast Iron Note
The only way we can think to improve upon this classic chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe is to insist, as the recipe already does, that you rely on a cast-iron pan. There’s nothing, not a thing, that we’d change.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 4 H
- Serves 6 to 8
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Recipe Testers Reviews
This is it, folks. This is EXACTLY what jambalaya should taste like. It’s rare that I think a recipe is perfect, but this chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe has all the flavors spot-on. The recipe calls for a roasted chicken, which apparently you can do any way you want. I used a chicken I had “roasted” on the grill. That meant I didn’t have any pan drippings, but I did have a flavorful smoked chicken. The sausage I used was a smoked pork sausage that I bought at one of the many butcher shops near Breaux Bridge, La., that sell boudin, sausage, and other specialty meats. I stock up every time I pass through. I think it’s important that you use a smoked sausage here. The chicken broth is pretty standard, made from a few vegetable scraps and your chicken carcass after you’ve picked the meat off. The technique of reducing the stock as you cook the vegetables is the key to making this dish taste rich and flavorful. The end result here is a very meaty, delicious chicken and sausage jambalaya that tastes just as it should. Which is damn good. While the recipe calls for this to be made in a skillet and then a larger pot, it can be made all in one pot if you use a very large cast iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. But I am talking BIG here.
This chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe is worth the effort. For convenience sake, I picked up a roasted chicken and made the stock a day in advance. While the stock simmered, I prepped the vegetables for the next day. The next day’s cooking was a breeze. This was nice because I decided to serve this to company coming for dinner that evening. Little did I know that one of my guests is a jambalaya enthusiast. Everyone really loved this jambalaya. It had a perfect balance of heat and depth. It was full of flavor but not overpowering. The rice had a silky feel but still maintained some bite to it. My jambalaya enthusiast said he would order it in a restaurant and asked if he could take some of the leftovers home with him. It was all delicious. The only thing I might do when I make it again is roast the chicken carcass before I make the stock.
This, my friends, is as good a jambalaya as I've had. The recipe is an afternoon project, and I assure you, it's worth every minute. When I made this, I had hopes of taking it to work for my buddies a couple of days later...a nice thought, but it was so good, of course it never made it out of my house.
I’ve never had jambalaya before, so I have nothing to compare this recipe with as to its authenticity, but the taste was stupendous. The spice mix is what I think really makes this dish shine. Along with everything else, it produces a wonderful multitude of rich, hearty, comforting flavors and textures that left everyone sated. This chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe requires a fair amount of preparation and work, but it’s worth the effort. I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken for simplicity and a chicken andouille sausage instead of pork. I don’t care for green peppers, so I added yellow instead. And I made an addition, which I don’t think is traditional, of peas at the end of cooking, just because I cannot seem to have rice dishes without peas. I will make this again, most certainly as a fall and winter dish, and for any potluck I attend.
The layers of flavor created by the continual cooking down of the liquid in this chicken and sausage jambalaya are amazing. The house smelled really good. This is quite an involved recipe. Also, the spice mix is very “hot,” so you may need to make an adjustment if you have children eating this dish.