Jambalaya is a hallmark of the Creole cuisine. It is a versatile dish that combines cooked rice with a variety of ingredients that can include tomatoes, onion, green peppers and almost any kind of meat, poultry or shellfish. The dish varies widely from cook to cook. Some think the name derives from the French word jambon, meaning ham, the main ingredient in many of the first jambalayas. Rice is a staple in many Creole dishes. We have developed this recipe as a weeknight meal, so that you can enjoy this comforting, Creole specialty even if you have a hectic schedule; all the more reason to sit down to a satisfying meal. This recipe calls for budget-friendly chicken thighs as well as smoked sausage, two ingredients necessary to impart deep flavor to the dish. Toast the rice for just a few short minutes along with the sautéed onions, peppers, and seasonings, and then add the chicken broth, tomatoes, browned chicken and sausage. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add a loaf of warm crusty bread, and in under an hour you can serve your family a traditional and delicious Creole dinner.
1 pound smoked sausage (such as Conecuh sausage), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups uncooked converted rice
3 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Sliced scallions (optional)
How to Make It
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add chicken and sausage, and cook, stirring constantly, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels; blot with paper towels.
Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, thyme, and oregano to hot drippings; cook over medium-high until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in rice, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, chicken, and sausage. Bring to a boil over high. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.