Chicken jambalaya

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Chicken jambalaya
Chicken jambalaya with chorizo
Servings:6 people
Ready in:2 hours 15 minutes
Prep. time:1 hour 15 minutes
(includes cooking a chicken)
Cook time:1 hour
Chicken jambalaya, ready to cook
Chicken, ready to boil

Jambalaya always brings to mind the Carpenters song; Jambalaya (On the Bayou) Not a Carpenters song but a dish traditionally made in one pot, with meats and vegetables. It is completed by adding stock and rice. Looking at various recipes in more detail, this strikes me now as a typical left-over dish. Cooking up what you have around at the time.

Making it your own recipe

When I made this for the first time, not having the slightest idea what jambalaya was, it looked quite complex, however, having made it many times now I now think it is probably one of the easiest recipes around. It is also a brilliant recipe to adapt to your own personal taste. It is also the ideal 'fridge cleaner' to sue up all those odd that you have lying around.

Just follow a few basic steps and you will be able to make you own version of this recipe.

  • Rinse the rice in cold running water first.
  • Fry the onions, garlic and vegetables first, plus any meat that might need more cooking than the rice does.
  • Ensure the rice is well coated in the oil before adding any stock.
  • Measure the stock by doubling the volume of the rice (4 cups of water to 2 cups of rice, etc.)
  • Don't add all of the stock at once, add more if it looks as though it will dry out before the rice is done.
  • If you have ingredients that don't need much cooking (prawns etc.) or vegetables that you want to serve with a bit of a crunch then add them during the last five minutes of cooking.



Printable 🛒 shopping list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe



  1. Remove any giblets, cut off and discard the Parson's nose.
  2. Wash the chicken under cold running water, inside and out
  3. Place the chicken in a large pot and pour over just enough boiling water to cover
  4. Add the onion and the bay leaf and boil for about 1 hour or until tender
  5. Set the chicken to one side, reserve the stock and discard the bay leaf and onion quarters
  6. Once chicken has cooled discard skin and bone
  7. Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the garlic for a few minutes
  8. Add the ham, spring onions, celery and pepper and sautee for 5 minutes
  9. Rinse rice under cold running water for a few minutes until the water runs clear
  10. Add the rice and stir-fry for a minute so the grains are coated by the oil
  11. Add the stock (about 500 ml to start), tomatoes, spices, Worcester sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper and chicken
  12. Stir well, cover and simmer on a very low hob until the liquid has gone and the rice is cooked. Add a little more water if it dries out before the rice is done.


I raided the garden for anything to add to the chicken boil: a few carrots, some leeks a few spare sticks of celery and bunches of parsley.

Chef's notes

I have doubled the rice quantity from the original recipe as there was so little rice. I have not quite doubled the stock quantity so keep an eye on the water level to ensure that it does not dry out.

Rather than using chilli sauce for the heat I used a mixture of my Exotic chilli powders to add more than just heat. The quantites I used did not make this hot (like a chilli), just a little warmth.

The stock left from cooking the chicken is really good quality so whatever you don't use, freeze in bags or cups far later use.

See also