Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes
Jambalaya gets its name from the tasso ham traditionally used in it (the French word for ham is jambon), but I like mine with spicy andouille sausage instead. You can pretty much throw in anything you want, as long as you include the “holy trinity” of celery, onion, and bell pepper as the flavor base. If you’re not a pork person, use spicy turkey or chicken sausage instead of andouille. If you like seafood in yours, throw in a handful of shrimp.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
12 ounces andouille sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 pound bay shrimp or peeled, deveined prawns (optional)
Heat the oil in a wide, deep pan and add the onion, pepper, and celery. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
While the vegetables cook, slice the sausage into thin rounds (about 1/4-inch thick). Add garlic and sausage to the pan and stir to blend in with the other vegetables. Let cook until everything starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Stir in rice, thyme, paprika, tomato, bay leaf, broth or water, and a good pinch of salt. Let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. If using bay shrimp, 5 minutes before rice is done, stir them in. If using prawns, cut them into bite-size pieces and stir them in then.
When jambalaya is cooked, turn off heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes to settle flavors. Remove bay leaf and serve in bowls, passing the Tabasco sauce at the table.