Cajun Jambalaya

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Jambalaya is something I’ve eaten a lot of and I loved since I was kid. I just love the mix of crunchy peppers and veggies. The assortment of meats and of course the kick of the spices. It really brings out my inner Newman. When I was a kid though it used to leave this ring around my lips that would last for days I used to eat it ridiculously spicy. That doesn’t happen anymore but I still sometimes wonder what that was about.

When I started making Jambalaya on my own I was kind of intimidated. It seemed to have so many ingredients but most importantly the rice! The thought of prepping all this stuff plus the expense of the ingredients led me to some concerns . I had to nail the rice. When I was just learning to cook I was so intimidated i’d make boil in bag rice and mix everything else separately from the rice The dish is majority rice. So I knew I had to find fool proof way of doing things for me it came down to two things 1. Stick to rice I know and have worked with prior. This is not the time to experiment with new rice. Rice can actually be tricky. You could buy the same style just different brand and it needs 25 minutes instead of 15 or doesn’t adhere to the 2:1 ratio rule. Also 2. the brown paper bag trick. The brown paper bag trick I learned from a friend of mine that I live by to this day for all my rice dish endeavors. All u have to do Is take a brown paper bag cut it so its one layer of paper ( keep the other half for the future) and stick it under the lid of the pan you’re covering your rice with! It absorbs excess moisture so you don’t have soupy rice. Its always fluffy and perfectly cook. Neat Right?

Also don’t forget to serve it with some Jalapeno and cheese cornbread


  • 1.2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Tb minced garlic
  • 2 anchovies
  • 2 breast of chicken, chopped
  • 3 sausage links or andouille, sliced
  • 1Tb vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 oz. beer
  • 1.5c vegetable stock
  • 1/4c sundried tomatoes
  • 1tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1tsp blackened seasoning
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp creole seasoning
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp gumbo file
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2c jasmine rice
  • 1.5-2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1- 8oz can stewed diced tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes till chicken is cooked thoroughly. Once done let cool and chop into chunks
  • In a hot pan. Add in oil and add in sausage and crispy both sides.
  • Add in anchovies and break them down with wooden spoon. Anchovies should basically melt into fat of sausage.
  • Add in onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and celery.
  • Toss and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add in rice and coat with oil from sausage. Sautee for 2 minutes.
  • Add in beer, tomatoes, and water. Toss around so nothing is stuck to bottom. Turn stove to high till water starts to boil.
  • While water is trying to boil season with bay leaves, blackened seasoning, crushed red peppers, sundried tomatoes, salt, creole seasoning, garlic powder, herbs de Provence, gumbo file, and black pepper. Stir in seasonings and make sure nothing is sticking to bottom.
  • Once water is boiling add in shrimp. Cover with brown paper bag. Cover with lid and Reduce to simmer.
  • Cook for 15 minutes ( preferably use instructions from your particular rice bag). Cut heat off and let sit for 5- 10 minutes.
  • Top with green onions and Enjoy!

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