Whether you’re looking for a great recipe to serve a crowd or a wonderful make-ahead meal for a weekend on a boat with a small galley or for a special treat on an overnight passage, jambalaya is the answer.
And our friend Drew Daugherty’s jambalaya is wonderful! This is one of his favorite recipes when a crowd of hungry sailors gathers — and instead of making it ahead, he just passes out a bunch of cutting boards and knives and puts everyone to work chopping. A number of times, I’ve heard people talking about making jambalaya as the highlight of a regatta!
But the great thing about jambalaya is that it’s every bit as good reheated . . . making it perfect for times when you want to make your main meals ahead of time and heat them up later. Say if you have a small boat with a mini-galley that you use for weekends (freeze it and put it in the cooler) . . . or for a great hot meal in the middle of an overnight passage.
NOTE: It’s very hard to say how many this will serve — it depends on the appetites!
Prep time: 30 mins
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon salt (optional)*
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- One bunch of green onions (green part only), finely sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes DRAINED (or one fresh tomato diced)
- 1 package smoked sausage (andouille is best if you can get it), thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds uncooked boneless chicken, diced (thighs are best)
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can cream of onion soup
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Drew’s Cajun seasoning (see notes)
*Drew uses the extra salt; with the salt in the broth, cream of onion soup and the Cajun seasoning, I find it too salty and thus omit it.
- In a big skillet brown the sausage on high until they have a brown crispness on them. Set aside.
- In a big pot, cook the onions, bell pepper and celery in the oil over medium heat until very soft – it takes a while.
- Add the spice mix, salt, chicken and sausage. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add broth and rice, bring to a boil for several minutes.
- Add the soup and cover pot. Turn to low and simmer until moisture is absorbed (but still a little wet) – about 20 minutes if using white rice (longer for brown).
- Turn off heat and add the drained tomatoes and sprinkle the green onions on top.
- Put cover back on the pot (still with stove off) and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
1 part red pepper (cayenne)
1 part black pepper
1 part white pepper
2 parts ground thyme
4 parts oregano
1 part garlic powder
1 part salt