- Rice2 Cups
- Canned Chopped Tomato400 to 410 Gramsor 1 tin. See
- Chilli Pepper (Optional)1 PiecesFinely Chopped
- Jalapeno Pepper (Optional)1 PiecesFinely chopped
- Bell Pepper1 PiecesI used Red and Yellow. Sliced into thin strips or julienned
- Garlic2 ClovesMinced
- Chicken Thighs700 Gramsor any quantity you want. You can substitute with drumsticks or even chopped chicken breast. I seasoned chicken with a little salt, garlic powder, paprika, white pepper and onion powder and left it to marinate for a bit
- Shrimp700 GramsI used shrimp but prawns make the dish even better. So get some large prawns if you can
- Bay Leaf2 Pieces
- Cajun Seasoning1 1/2 TablespoonsDo not skip. This seasoning makes the dish. You can get this at any large supermarket
- White Pepper1 Teaspoons
- Paprika1 Teaspoons
- Thyme1 Teaspoons
- Vegetable Oil1/4 to 1/2 Cups
- Sausage250 GramsChopped. If you can get andouille or Chorizo sausage, all the better
- Onion1 Medium to Large PiecesSliced
- Chicken Stock3 1/4 CupsOr as required
- Salt and Chicken Bouillon CubeTo tasteI used Knorr Chicken Seasoning Cube
This delicious Jambalaya dish with rich flavours has its origins in Louisiana, it resembles the Nigerian Jollof Rice but has a different taste due to the spices and other ingredients used. Also while the Jollof Rice is more pepper based, this one is very tomato based. So if you are familiar with Jollof Rice and would like to try something similar but at the same time different, try this dish. 🙂
1. Wash the rice thoroughly, set aside.
2. In a pan, add vegetable oil, heat up, add in the chicken thighs and fry until it has browned on both sides. It’s okay if the insides are not completely cooked, they’ll be cooked till done later.
**The chicken should be pan fried until it has browned on both sides and not deep fried. So don’t go overboard with the oil. Depending on how much chicken you have, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup should suffice. If you are using chopped chicken breast, just fry until it is cooked. But make sure you don’t overfry so it doesn’t dry out. Also be sure to watch your chicken while you are pan frying so it doesn’t burn.
3. Take out the browned chicken from the oil. The pour in the remaining oil to a pot.
4. Heat up, add the sliced onions and minced garlic, stir-fry for about 1 minute.
5. Then add the chopped peppers (chilli and jalapeno) and the thinly sliced bell peppers and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
6. Add in the browned chicken thighs. Toss around for about 3 or 4 minutes, then the canned tomato including its juice.
7. Stir and let it cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until it reduces and thickens, then add in the chicken stock. Add enough to cook the rice until done.
8. Stir and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, then season with salt and chicken bouillon cube to taste, white pepper, paprika and Cajun seasoning. Also add the bay leaves. If you want more pepper, feel free to add some ground pepper here.
**Be careful about salt. Some Cajun seasoning already come with quite a lot of salt. So taste your Cajun seasoning first before adding it in. In fact, you should probably add in the Cajun seasoning first, taste your stock, then add in salt and chicken bouillon as needed.
9. Stir and make sure everything is tasty enough, let it simmer for about 1 minute then add in the shrimp / prawns, chopped sausages and washed rice.
10. Stir, taste for salt again, lower the heat to low heat, cover the pot and let the rice cook until it is soft and done.
**If your rice looks dehydrated before it is fully cooked, add in a few cooking spoons of chicken stock to supplement on liquid. Don’t add too much so the rice won’t come out soggy. Also don’t cook on high heat so the rice won’t burn before it is cooked.
Done. Your Jambalaya Rice is ready to be served!
If you cannot get canned chopped tomatoes, substitute with about 1 to 2 cups of blended fresh tomato puree plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Add the tomato paste somewhere between step 5 and 6, let it fry for a couple of minutes before adding the fresh tomato puree. Because of the sour taste of fresh tomato puree, you may need to let it cook for longer before adding in the chicken stock and the rice. This is to give it time to lose its sour taste.
I didn't parboil the rice first but feel free to parboil yours. If you parboil first, use less chicken stock to cook the rice at the end since the rice has already been precooked. This is to prevent your rice from coming out soggy.
If you are concerned about over cooking the vegetables (bell peppers) or if you want yours to retain its crunch, add it in last, when the rice is cooked and just let it steam for a couple of minutes.