Weekend Cooking: Classic Chicken Jambalaya
13 Oct 2012

Weekend Cooking: Classic Chicken Jambalaya

13 Oct 2012

Tried out this dish over the weekend.  All in all am pleased with the results, although I did take note of some improvements to put in if I make this again.

Updated 11 Dec 2019: Made this for dinner with some mods. Definitely a good dish when done right. Jambalaya is practically like our nasi goreng, given a basic recipe you basically can just toss in whatever meats you have in your fridge. I had leftover dynamite sausages and a small pack of chicken cheese frankfurters, so I used that for my latest batch.

One important point to note is the liquids to rice ratio. Use the same measuring cup when measuring out both ingredients, and make sure the ratio is 2:1. For two cups of long-grain Basmathi rice, measure out the amount of crushed canned whole tomatoes, and add enough water to make 4 cups of liquid. You’ll end up with a wonderfully moist jambalaya every time.

Based on the recipe by Emeril Lagasse.

Classic Chicken Jambalaya


  • One (1.5 kilogram) chicken, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper,¬†chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic,¬†minced
  • 450 grams andouille sausage OR any smoked sausage of your choice, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 (about 225 grams) smoked chicken breast OR smoked turkey ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups long grain basmathi rice, rinsed
  • Chicken stock cubes, enough for 500 ml stock OR homemade chicken stock
  • 1 (400-gram) can whole tomatoes, crushed OR 2 large tomatoes, chopped and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme OR 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 stalk finely sliced green onions (about 2 tablespoons), for garnish


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (fan 170 degrees C).

Season the chicken with 2 tablespoons Essence and the salt.  

Heat the oil in a small Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot over medium-high heat. 

When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, working in batches if necessary, 9 to 10 minutes per batch. 

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the celery, bell peppers, and onions and cook until they begin to soften, scraping off any chicken brown bits from the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes.  

Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  

Add the sausage and smoked turkey and cook for another 2 minutes.  

Add the rice, stir gently to combine while being careful not to break the rice grains, and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Add the chicken stock cube, crushed tomatoes with enough water to make 4 cups of liquid, tomato paste, Worcestershire, the remaining 1 teaspoon Essence, the hot sauce, bay leaves, and thyme.  

Stir to combine and return the chicken to the pot, nestling the pieces in the rice mixture.  Be careful and ensure all the rice is completely immersed in liquid.  

Cover the pot and bake in the oven, until the chicken and rice are tender, about 40 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.

Garnish with the green onions and serve with hot sauce.

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