My father-in-law makes jambalaya year round. I always enjoy it! I typically make it once a year after finding a new version to try for our celebratory Mardi Gras meal.
I was drawn to this recipe because it utilizes a slow cooker- and mine is underutilized. I learned that I should stick with my typical cooking methods! I significantly extended the cooking time for the rice, probably because I didn’t use parboiled rice. Oops. It was a little bit of a struggle. In the end, the rice did absorb all of the wonderful flavors of the dish. It was worth the wait!
The recipe was adapted from food52.com, contributed by Kristina Vanni. I used kielbasa instead of andouille sausage, chicken thigh instead of chicken breast meat, and modified the method and proportions. I loved that this version incorporated chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
We ended the feast with our annual King Cake, a family favorite.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 T tomato paste
- 1 T chopped fresh thyme
- 1 T Creole seasoning (I used Slap ya Mama)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (12 ounce) package andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half-moons
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, preferably parboiled (I used Basmati)
- 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21-25 count per pound)
- sliced scallions, for garnish
- Louisiana-style hot sauce, optional, for serving
- In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened. (Alternatively, set the slow cooker to the sauté setting and complete these steps.)
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste, fresh thyme, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to the slow cooker.
- In the same pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the cubed chicken to the skillet and cook until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. (I cooked the dish on high for 3 hours.)
- If cooking on high and using long grain white rice that is not parboiled, add the rice to the pot after 1 1/2 hours. (I used Basmati rice and it took 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours on high to be fully cooked.)(If using parboiled rice, add it to the pot 20 to 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.)
- Once the rice is tender, add the shrimp to the slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 2 to 5 minutes more, stirring once or twice, until the shrimp are pink throughout and are fully cooked.
- To serve, top with chopped scallions for garnish. Serve with Louisiana hot sauce for additional heat, as desired.