This recipe comes to me from a former student (JM) of some thirty years ago. He's from a Louisiana family and his recipe for jambalaya inspired me
to work on this version. Traditional one pot big dishes like jambalaya are among my favorites. First, as with many similar dishes, it is the history that fascinates me. Apparently jambalaya is a Louisiana accommodation to Spanish paella. Like paella, it has rice and some sort of sausage as its foundation and then includes some other meat or shell fish. The
distinguishing ingredient may be almost anything from rabbit to wild boar and octopus to shrimp. One of the most common combinations is chicken and shrimp.That's what I'm using here.
I make no pretense that this recipe is the correct version. As with all such traditional dishes, there are as many variations as there are people who make it.Some folks say add tomatoes. Others say no tomatoes. Some use
filé, some do not. What I've tried to do here is create a rather simple version that uses fresh in season vegetables, pastured chicken and humanely
raised pork. For the sausage I am using chorizo as a nod to the Spanish origins of this dish.In Louisiana, they would use andouille. For the chicken, you can use cubed chicken breast, but I prefer using thighs that I cut into thirds. I think the thighs have much more texture and flavor. It's also important to remember that you can make any number of variations. Or, you can leave things out.
Use pork or rabbit instead of chicken.Use any kind of sausage that you have on hand ( preferably one that does not contain nitrites and that was produced by a humane farm.) You may even be able to find craw dads instead of shrimp. Watch the quantities you use. They have to be modest if you are using a cast iron skillet.You can have this one pot dish ready in under an hour. By the way, no one knows for sure the origin of the word, "jambalaya." There are many theories and even some legends.
But none is certain.
What you need
Getting started: the mise-en-place, have all your elements ready before you begin to cook.
Putting it together
Remove from the oven. Let it sit and settle for about ten minutes. Plate and serve. An easy and very filling recipe.