Monday, 22 June 2015

Cheater's Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

I may have mentioned before, but I love cooking traditional foods from many cultures. And the reason why I like cooking these foods is because I know that every village, every family, every region had their own variations. Despite what we may think today what with standardised cookery books, there was no hard and fast "rules" about what had to go into that dish, or what proportions were needed.

I love foods I can cook without having to follow rules. I especially like dishes that I can cook up without a lot of fuss, while using up leftovers at the same time.

One dish that works very well here is a Jambalaya. This traditional Cajun food dish was made using core ingredients of onion, bell pepper, and celery plus rice and Cajun spices, and then whatever meat was available after a day's hunting and fishing - rabbit, chicken, fish, seafood, alligator - you get the idea.

Traditional recipes today tend to have chicken, andouille sausage, and prawns. But they can be made using any meat, or none at all. Likewise, you can add any vegetables you want - corn, peas, beans, or anything else.

I had some leftover sausages and chicken from our dinner the other night I wanted to use up, so I decided to turn them into a tasty jambalaya. This quick and easy recipe can be cooked and on the table in under 45 minutes.

Chicken and sausage jambalaya

Serves: 3

Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any colour), seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked wholegrain basmati rice
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Cajun spice mix
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cooked Cumberland sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Sweat off the onions, pepper, and celery with a bit of the water in a large pan until softened. 
  2. Add in the rice and Cajun spice mix and stir until coated.
  3. Pour in the water, bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered, about 25 minutes. 
  4. After 10 minutes, add the cooked chicken and sausage and continue simmering. 
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  6. If necessary, remove the lid and boil off any excess liquid before serving.