I make chili around the Super Bowl and I enjoy cooking up jambalaya to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Jambalaya is a signature Creole dish that combines a variety of ingredients ranging from poultry and sausage to shellfish and green peppers. This classic one-pot rice dish is a must for every cook's recipe collection. It's hearty, scrumptious, and great for entertaining a crowd. I've got two recipes for you to choose from, all you have to do is


Beginner Jambalaya
From Food and Wine magazine

1 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 lb. andouille or hot link sausages
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 in all), cut into 1-inch pieces

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning, until browned, 5 to 10 minutes in all.
  2. Remove. When the sausages are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.
  3. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and cook, covered, over moderately low heat until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, broth, sausage, cayenne, bay leaves, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done and the rice and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for about 2 minutes.

Serves 4.

Expert Jambalaya
From Emeril Lagasse

1 (5-lb.) duck, trimmed of fat and cut into eight pieces
1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning duck
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning duck
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, diced
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 tbsp. Essence, recipe follows
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups long-grain white rice
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the duck, skin side down, and sear for 5 minutes. Turn and sear on the second side for 3 minutes. Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels.
  3. Add the sausage to the fat in the pot and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, 1 tbsp. of the Essence, and black pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes give off some of their juices, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the thyme, stock, and duck. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove duck pieces from the jambalaya and cool slightly. Skim the fat. Discard skin and bones and shred duck meat.
  8. Add the rice and bring back up to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is barely tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Return the duck meat to the mixture. Season the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon Essence. Add the shrimp to the pot, return to a simmer, and cover.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
  11. Add the green onions and parsley to the jambalaya and stir gently. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Adjust the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Serve directly from the pot.

Serves 8.

Essence Creole Seasoning:

2 1/2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Makes 2/3 cup.