Cajun Bayou Jambalaya

spicy jambalaya

What do you do when winter throws you a polar vortex? Make jambalaya.

Last weekend, as much of the Midwest was preparing for a second round of dangerously frigid wind chills, Hunky Hubby got the itch to cook. And I absolutely love it when my Love cooks —messiness and all. (Don’t tell him I said that.) Hubby is the master of many dishes but his jambalaya is over the moon. I’m talking deep, aromatic, robust flavor of cosmic proportion. If I had more adjectives to throw in I would. His jambalaya is that good. 

I’m all about giving credit where credit is due and Hubby’s treasured jambalaya recipe is based on am original recipe created by the supremely talented chef Scott McGlinchy. Flashback to 1996 (I’ve been having a lot of those lately), it was the year our firstborn Beauty was born (who will be turning 18 in a few days!) and the year Hunky Hubby enrolled in a Cajun cooking class at the local technical college. Everyone in that class hit the jackpot by having the owner and executive chef of Heaven City Restaurant at that time for a teacher. It was during that class that Hunky Hubby sharpened his culinary skills, learned about the holy trinity staple of Cajun cooking, and truly began to develop his sense of taste. To this day I’m amazed by my Hubby’s high definition taste buds.

And he’s amazed that I buy unpeeled shrimp.

preparing jambalya

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned cook (ha!), I’m told this is an easy jambalaya recipe… especially when using peeled and deveined shrimp… and already roasted chicken.  The original recipe from Chef Scott is heavy seafood. My Love put his own spin on this Cajun delight by using a combination of chicken, ham, andouille sausage and shrimp and is the recipe we’re sharing here.

Cajun Bayou Jambalaya
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 lb. diced andouille sausage
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • ½ lb low sodium ham, diced (such as Eckrich)
  • 1 cup roasted chicken
  • 12 oz. peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  1. Sautee sausage, onion, celery and green pepperin 2 tablespoons of butter and 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil until soft.
  2. Add ⅓ cup chicken broth and heat until hot.
  3. Add garlic and spices through bay leaves.
  4. Add 1¼ cup chicken stock, tomatoes, ham, shrimp and rice. Simmer covered for 15 minutes or until rice is done.
  5. Add cooked chicken and parsley and cook until chicken is warmed through.

Jambalaya is not a dish we have very often so when we do it’s special in so many ways. I hope it is for you, too.


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