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Simple Cooking: Hearty Jambalaya

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 10, 2013 8:00PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

This weather has us looking for hearty, rib-sticking comfort food to eat today and I was fortunate enough to prepare for the arctic chill with a long day of cooking.

One of the dishes I always go back to when the weather dips below freezing is jambalaya. You don't need to wait until carnival season to make your self a heaping bowl of this spicy dish. In fact, a bowl of this is warming me up as I type this.

This recipe is one I've worked on over the years and the ingredients below are what work best for me. If you aren't a meat-eater you can substitute the stock and meat options or scrap the meat altogether. The main thing is you get the spices just right to remind you how to treat yourself nicely.

Hearty Jambalaya


2 pounds andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch cubes. (For variety, try a pound each of hot Italian sausage and Linguica)
2 pounds chicken thighs (or turkey)
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large orange or red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and de-veined, minced
1/2 pound okra, cut into 1/4-inch slices
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups beef stock
3 cups long-grain dark rice, cooked


In a medium-sized stock or soup pot, bring the tomatoes and spices to a simmer. Cook the sausage and poultry 8-10 minutes, until cooked through, then drain and add to the sauce. Sauté vegetables in the remaining fat, 8-10 minutes, then transfer to mix. Add broth and rice, simmer 30-45 minutes or until most of the excess liquid has been absorbed into the mix.