You can get back to your southern roots (or find them) with this healthy, versatile, delicious recipe for southern jambalaya. Typically found in southern Louisiana’s Cajun Country, jambalaya has found its way into other regions because of its wonderful flavor, ease of preparation, and versatility – plus it just tastes good! This rice based dish works well with chicken and sausage, seafood, or if you are feeling particularly southern, gator and andouille sausage.
The main recipe here can be ready in 30 minutes or less but there are many options so you can tailor it to suit your own personal taste. This is the basic recipe but check the variations section below for more healthy, delicious ideas for this dish.
1 whole chicken (cooked)
1 – 2 cups sliced sausage (cooked)
½ medium sweet onion, chopped (white or yellow onion will also work)
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
4 – 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 – 4 cups cooked brown and wild rice blend
1 cup Chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Seasoning to taste:
- Sea salt
- Coarse ground black pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the onion is transparent add the meat and sausage.
When the meat is slightly browned, add the tomato, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Heat through then lower the heat to medium low.
Add the rice and chicken stock. Heat through, watching the dish. Southern jambalaya is a moist dish, but it is not soupy. Add enough stock so that your rice is moist but not so much that it is soupy. Even though it is cooked, the rice will still absorb the stock so watch it.
Once it is heated you can turn it to low and allow the flavors to meld or you can serve immediately.
This dish is even better the next day. It also freezes well.
Serves 4 – 6
The great thing about southern jambalaya is that you can tailor it to your family’s tastes. Take a look at these alternatives and try a few for yourself.
Instead of 1 whole chicken you can use 4 chicken breasts, 1 whole duck, 1 pound of shrimp, 1 – 2 pounds of alligator, or any combination.
The sausage of choice for jambalaya is andouille. However, that can be a little too spicy for some folks so any smoked, flavorful sausage will do. You can also omit the sausage completely and simply add another meat to the dish.
If brown and wild rice isn’t your thing you can substitute it with plain brown rice or white rice. If you want to go with a little more exotic dish, try using quinoa instead of rice.
Fresh tomatoes are always best but if you don’t have access to them or you prefer to use canned they will work just fine. Rotel tomatoes will add a little spice while tomatoes with garlic and basil will brighten it. Stay away from tomatoes seasoned for chili though, they just don’t compliment the dish well at all.
When you try this dish let us know in the comments below. Did you do any variations? Did you find it totally easy? Is there any particular recipe you would like to see us give a healthy make over? Let us know in the comments!