Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in Indiana it is just so.dang.cold every day.  Most days the only time I actually feel warm is while I’m blow-drying my hair (on the hottest setting, mind you), so I’ve really been in need of some hearty, warming soups and stews to get me through these last winter months.  This one-pot meal was a welcome addition to our menu.  With chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage, it reminded me of a deliciously chunky risotto.  I think the use of chicken thighs added a ton of flavor to this dish, so though I often try to substitute chicken breasts when possible, I think the thighs are important in this recipe.

This recipe makes good use of the food processor to significantly decrease prep time by pulsing the vegetables, rather than chopping them finely by hand.  You can certainly do it by hand if you wish, but I really appreciate any little time-saving step.  (Plus, Andrew loves to shout “GO!” before I turn on the food processor.)  Different varieties of andouille will have different levels of spiciness, so you may need to adjust your spices accordingly.  It seems the version sold at our butcher shop is on the mild side, so I seasoned with a Cajun spice blend just before serving and that did the trick.  So settle in, make some spicy jambalaya, and let’s wait out the cold together 🙂

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
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1 medium onion, trimmed and quartered
1 rib celery, cut into quarters
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
8 oz. andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch chunks (or crumbled, if in delicate casings)
1½ cups long-grain white rice
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (¼ cup of juice reserved)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 lb. shrimp (31-40 per lb.), peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Combine the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until chopped fine, about six 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.  Be careful not to over-process.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pot, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the opposite side, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Lower the heat to medium and add the andouille.  Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chopped vegetables to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice, salt, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is coated with the fat, about 1 minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves and cooked sausage to the pot.  Stir to combine.  Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and place the chicken on the rice so that the side the skin was just removed from is now facing down.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir once, keeping the chicken in the same general position, and continue to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes more.  Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or cutting board and set aside.  Scatter the shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

While the shrimp are cooking, shred the chicken into thin strands.  Once the shrimp are finished cooking, discard the bay leaves, stir in the chicken and parsley, and serve immediately.

Source: The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

20 Responses

  1. Oh, you made my tummy weep this morning. I love jambalaya but sadly my husband’s heartburn does not. I haven’t had it in years and now I’m just drooling over your recipe and photo.

  2. Oooo! My husband would love this! I’m gonna have to try this very soon!!!

  3. I am not a Jambalaya person normally, but this looks really good!! I just found your blog about a week ago and I am loving the recipes you post!! I didn’t know you were in Indiana!! Me too!! How fun! Thank you for sharing such tasty treats with us!!

  4. i had a roomate in college who would make this all the time but ive never been brave enough to try…this recipe seems simple enough and looks georgeous!!

  5. it’s freezing in chicago, too! I have major spring fever.

    that recipe looks delish, especially the shrimp!!

  6. It made me smile to read that Andrew yells “Go” to signal the food processor – what a cutie! I have totally been craving cajun food lately because of Mardi Gras. This looks fantastic!

  7. thanks for sharing, Annie! we have been dying to try jambalaya for ages but never found the “right” recipe to test out…this one might be it!

  8. I just mentioned the coldness of our wonderful state (and I guess the rest of the entire country, too) on my post today. Chili, stews, soups are my favorite this time of year. I usually read all of your comments because they are so funny but today just hit home. I also only feel warm when blow drying my hair .. or standing under almost-to-the-point-of-scalding hot shower water. Makes me not want to leave in the morning. 🙂

    PS – This looks yummy! Do you get your shrimp at the grocery? Fresh or frozen? I always get frozen and it never tastes right. Not sure if that really matters.

    • Kelly,
      I buy frozen uncooked shrimp at the grocery store. After all, I live in Indiana – fresh shrimp are not abundant here. I think they taste great – just be sure to buy uncooked rather than precooked.

  9. Ohhh, this looks AMAZING! So savory and flavorful. Yum! Methinks I’ll have to pick up shrimp and andouille sausage SOON!

  10. I love this recipe, and my husband especially does, but I’m actually on the lookout for a simpler jambalaya. I guess I’m lazy, and this one seems to take more effort that I want to put in for a one pot meal.

  11. I am from Louisiana and have been craving something Cajun for weeks now! I actually am planning to make a shrimp and sausage jambalaya tonight. I have never heard of making it using clam juice…how interesting! Here’s a suggestion: try using seafood stock made from your shrimp peels instead of chicken broth. Delicious!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • This is actually the second or third recipe I’ve seen that calls for clam juice. The seafood stock is a good idea, but would certainly make this meal take far longer. As it is now, I consider it a slightly involved weeknight meal.

  12. forget about waiting out the rest of winter…I’m moving to puerto rico! This looks de-lish

  13. You’ve been giving that new cookbook a great workout, girl. Looks fab! I think I may have to go on the hunt for some andouille this weekend.

  14. I had this for dinner tonight!! It was a perfect meal to end a chilly day!

  15. This looks really good. I enjoy making jambalaya, so maybe this one will be next on my list. Thanks for sharing.

  16. i heart jambalaya…its a joy to eat it!! yours look super delish with those jumbo shrimps…yummmm….

  17. Made this last week. It was a HUGE hit w/my entire family—kids 7,5,and 3 included! Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe.

  18. […] source: The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, as found on Annie’s Eats […]

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