Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jambalaya - A little Bit of New Orleans in the Cul de Sac

Late one evening a traveling gentleman stopped by a New Orleans inn which had little food remaining from the evening meal. The traveler instructed the cook, "Jean, balayez!" or "Jean, sweep something together!" in the local dialect. The guest pronounced the resulting hodge-podge dish as "Jean balayez."

Drink a little (or a lot) hurricane or sazerac cocktail and you start slurring your words...  Jean balayez becomes JAMBALAYA!

That's probably not true, but makes a great story.

This recipe is one that I learned during my visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking. By far, it was the most popular of the main course recipes I learned during my trips to New Orleans. Easy Peasy, so lets get to it.

Mise en Place (first, assemble your ingredients)

1/2 cup oil (divided)
2 pounds Chicken boned, cut into 1 inch cubes..
2 pounds Andouille Sausage, cut into 1 inch slices
......Save 1/2 pound to grill and use as accents
4 cups Onion
2 cups Green Pepper (I had a yellow as well)
2 cups Celery
3 Tablespoons Garlic
5 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Long Grained Rice
1/4 cup Cajun Spices
1/2 cup Green onion
2 cups tomatoes (optional)

  • In a large sauce pan, Season and brown Chicken in 1/4 cup oil. Add sausage to pot and saute with the chicken.
  • Optional - For brown Jambalaya, add heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar to your roux just before adding vegetables (see next step), for red, add Paprika for color
  • In a large stock pot , make a roux with equal parts 1/4 cup oil and flour. It is VERY important to start with a clean pan. It must be free of food particles to make a successful roux. Add vegetables and later garlic to roux and stir continuously until vegetables reach desired tenderness.
  • Add Chicken and sausage to vegetables, continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in stock and Cajun seasonings. Bring to boil
  • For red Jambalaya, add 1/4 cup paprika and you can substitute 1/2 the stock for 1/2 tomato juice or V-8 juice.
  • Add rice, DO NOT STIR, but push gently on rice to get it under liquid and return to boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN POT, DO NOT STIR.
  • While the pot is cooking, slice 1/2 pound Andouille Sausage and fry in sauce pan till pretty char marks appear.
  • After 25 minutes, turn rice from top to bottom, mix meat and rice evenly. There may be some burnt bits on the bottom, but that is FILLED with flavor, and should be mixed in as well/
  • Dish it up, add sausage and green onions as accent.
  • Have Hot sauce and additional seasonings available for people who want to taste the Cajun experience to their fullest.



  1. This looks good. I think I might make it tonight - with a few variations to match what I have in my fridge/cupboards!

  2. Looks fab! Very interesting version of this dish. I don't usually make a roux for my jambalaya, but I'm sure that it's delicious!

  3. Yep, you'd have to have extra hot sauce when I come over - the spicier the better!

  4. Wait, is that really the story or did you make that up? Too funny. I've never made jambalaya but with all those flavors and spices melding together, I'm sure I'd love it!

  5. Dave,
    How the heck do you cook all this great food, blog it, and continue to work on your new endeavor? Wow! I am swamped right now with Market things, only 45 more days to go! All is going well so far. How is Cul de Sac going? Hope all is well!
    Robin Sue

  6. Hey Dave, How are you? Busy I am sure! The Jambalaya sounds like my kind of dish! I love spicy and delish! Blessings to you and Jackie...Catherine

  7. Looks good, Dave. Do you use a particular brand of andouille?