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Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Mardi Gras is right around the corner here on March 8th. I’ve never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, nor do I have any desire to. As a non-drinker that does not sound like a particularly appealing event. However, I did attend the New Orleans Jazz Festival probably 10 or 12 years ago and that was a blast. I love the south. New Orleans was a little too hot and humid though for my taste. It’s becoming a great foodie town though.

This month’s issue of Bon Appetit had some Mardi Gras recipes in it and this recipe caught my eye. When Amanda’s dad and I were still married I used to make a lot more southern food that I do now. I made a fair amount of jambalaya back then, but it’s been years since I’ve made it. Since is doing a feature on Mardi Gras recipes, I thought I’d give this one a whirl. A lot of jambalaya recipes call for seafood of some kind; crawfish or shrimp usually. I don’t eat any shellfish, so that made the fact that this recipe didn’t have any made it even more appealing.

Sausage & Chicken Jambalaya

Original recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine March issue, 2011. Revised by Crafty Farm Girl©, March, 2011

10-12 servings**

PREP TIME: 1 hour*

COOKING TIME: about 1 hour

*Now right out of the box here let me talk about the above stated prep time they called for. I’m a good cook, I’m an efficient cook, and I was familiar with all of the ingredients, and I would say the one hour prep time they claim was an underestimation. I would say that between chopping and cooking it was closer to an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half.

I also changed quantities on a few things. I added more bacon, because let’s face it — everything is better with bacon — and the more the better. They called for 1 1/2 pounds of linguica (I’ve never heard of it), but offered a substitution of smoked, fully-cooked sausage. I used half beef kielbasa and half smoked kielbasa. I could not find tasso ham so used the black forest they suggested as a substitution. They said to cut it into 1/2″ cubes, but my dice was smaller; more like 1/3″ cubes; I just had the deli counter cut me a 1/3″ thick (+-) slice and diced it. They also called for both peppers to be coarsely chopped, but I thought a diced pepper would look better in the dish, so I did not chop the peppers, I diced them. I was able to find a nice large red pepper, but no so with the green, so I used two of the green peppers, and I also used 3 stalks celery instead of the called for 2. Andouille sausage is very spicy. I cut it lengthwise into quarters and then into 1/4″ slices instead of the called for 1/2″ slice. My kids like spicy food, but I thought a 1/2″ thick slice of andouille sausage might be too much for them.

The nice thing about recipes like this is that you can play around with the ingredients and be pretty confident that it will still be fine.


  • 1 pound thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon, stacked, but in half horizontally and then diced
  • 1 3/4 pounds smoked fully cooked sausage (I used half beef kielbasa and half smoked sausage), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick semi-circles
  • 1 pound andouille sausages, quartered lengthwise, and then sliced
  • 1/2 pound tasso or smoked ham (I used Black Forest), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds onions, chopped (4 to 5 cups)
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 large skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons paprika (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons regular paprika and 1/2 a tablespoon smoky paprika)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 3 cups beef broth**
  • 3 cups (19 to 20 ounces) long-grain white rice
  • 1 green green italian frying pepper, finaly diced


    Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.

    Cook bacon in very large pot over medium-high heat until brown but not yet crisp, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Add smoked sausage, andouille, and tasso. Sauté until meats start to brown in spots, about 10 minutes.

    Add onions, celery, and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Add onions

    Mix in chicken. Cook until outside of chicken turns white, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes.

    Mix in paprika, thyme, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Cook 1 minute.

    Add diced tomatoes with chiles and broth; stir to blend well. Add more cayenne, if desired (I do not recommend this unless you like your food really spicy). Mix in rice.

    Bring jambalaya to boil. Cover pot. Place in oven and bake until rice is tender and liquids are absorbed, 45 to 48 minutes. Uncover pot. Mix chopped green onions into jambalaya; sprinkle jambalaya with chopped parsley and serve.

    ** The original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of beef broth. I did not find that this was enough and ended up using 3 cups. It probably could have even used 3 1/2 cups, so keep this in mind and add more broth as you see necessary. They also claim that this recipe serves 10-12. I have smaller kids that don’t eat all that much, but I would say it serves more to 12-14.

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  • Comments

    1. I would have KILLED someone for something like this when I was down in New Orleans for Mardi Gras a million years ago. Meaty, spicy, rich and thick, yum! Every thing was fish fish fish. Fish is NOT something you want to eat after drinking Hurricanes for 18 hours four days straight. I remember we dragged ourselves to a restaurant one night and I tried to order just a plain piece of chicken, grilled, with nothing on it, no sauce, no stuff, no nothing, just plain, and the waiter looked at me like I had five heads. And they couldn’t do it! Everything was already all sauced up and fished out! For the life of me I can’t remember any jumbalaya that had just meat in it. It is a great foodie town, you are correct.

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