Jambalaya is the Cajun version of paella or chicken with rice. This bayou favorite from the Deep South is a mainstay at church suppers, celebrations, and wakes for a good reason: jambalaya has amazing rejuvenating powers. Whether in a giant pot to feed a hundred or a skillet to feed two, hot rice mingled with spicy juicy tomatoes, vegetables, shrimp, sausage, and chicken is the meal that holds us all together. Cue the accordion—Jambalaya and a crawfish pie, and a filé gumbo... son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.

Serves 2


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 oz andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • One 15-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Louisiana hot sauce (optional)


Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken thighs and brown them, about 3 minutes per side. Don't try to turn the chicken if it's stuck to the bottom of the pan; it will release once it is sufficiently browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate. (It will not be cooked through at this point.)

Add the sausage to the hot skillet, still over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until nicely browned on all sides, about 1 minute. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, Cajun seasoning, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper and sauté the vegetables until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes longer. Add the rice and sauté until the grains begin to turn opaque, another minute or so.

Add the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken broth and return the chicken thighs to the pan, nestling them down into the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Uncover the pan, tuck the shrimp into the mix, and sprinkle the parsley over. Re-cover and cook until the shrimp is cooked through and firm to the touch, about 3 minutes more. Taste and season the jambalaya with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Mound the jambalaya in warmed shallow bowls and serve hot. Pass the hot sauce at the table, if desired.

From One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two (Chronicle) by Carla Snyder.

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