Jambalaya is a delicious heady mix of smoked sausage, sweet prawns and the fiery kick of chilli. Originally from Louisiana, this deep-South dish has Spanish influences and a really moreish flavour. Jambalaya is a French word that means ‘jumbled’ or ‘mixed up’, reflective of this melting-pot of delicious flavours.
Usually cooked on a hob, we’ve gone for an oven-cooked alternative to leave you with more free time away from the cooker. Invite over some friends to mingle in the kitchen and enjoy a few glasses of wine, while your one-pot dish simmers away in the oven. What summer evenings are all about!
If you prefer you can make this without the chicken or prawns, depending on your preference. Increase the peppers and add in some extra veggies of your choice for a tasty vegetarian option, or use only prawns or chicken alongside the smoked sausage.
All three options together make a luxurious treat, which means this dish is perfect for impressing friends with. If you really want to push the boat out, try lobster or crab for an indulgent twist on this deep-south classic recipe.
What to serve up with your jambalaya
Served up simply with crusty bread or a big green salad it’s a delicious crowd-pleasing dinner. A fresh, citrusy dressing will complement the spicy, smokey flavours perfectly. We also love this dish the next day, packed up into boxes for lunch – it’s just as delicious cold as it is hot.
And the great thing about a recipe like this, which uses Tabasco, is that everyone can tailor the spice levels to their own preference if you just pop a bottle of the chilli sauce on the table for everyone to help themselves to, whether you prefer a hint of spice, or full-on heatwave.
HOW TO MAKE SPICY JAMBALAYA
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs, chopped
- 125g smoked sausage or chorizo, sliced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large sprig thyme
- 1½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 300g long grain rice
- 400g can plum tomato
- 500ml chicken stock
- 180g raw prawns
- Tabasco, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4. In a large ovenproof dish heat the oil over a medium heat and sauté the chicken thighs and sausage until just brown. Add the onion, peppers, celery and garlic and sauté for five minutes more, until soft.
Stir through the remaining ingredients, except the prawns and Tabasco.
Cover and bake for 35 mins, until the rice is cooked. Add the prawns and Tobasco to taste. Cover and bake for five minute more, until the prawns are pink.
Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
Top Tip for making Deep-south Spicy Jambalaya
For an authentic taste look for Andouille sausages