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Looking for a GREAT Jambalaya Recipe

Discussion in 'Blowing Smoke Around the Smoker.' started by bdskelly, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The cold front that hit North Texas yesterday put the family in the mood for Jambalaya.  My gumbo suggestion was voted down. 2 to 1. 

    I have an old standby basic Jambalaya recipe and it works well.  But looking for something next level.

    Any help with something new would be greatly appreciated! Heck I might even Q View it…  

  2. Brian

     I'm more of a Gumbo kinda guy. I bet Foam will be all over this. I look forward to seeing a Qview.

    Happy smoken.

  3. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Thats exactly who I thought of when I posted.  In fact I PMed him when I set this post.  Chances are he is studying the point spreads or running his lines right now.  I'd expect to hear from him soon!  LOL
  4. Hello Brian.  I'm in for this one.  [​IMG]   Bound to be some good Cajuns who can help us out.  Expect Foam or Cappy any minute. ( plenty of others also ).  BTW.  I would like a look at that gumbo recipe if you don't mind. [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Foam has  a basic no nonsense recipe that starts with explanation of the roux and develops int a full body gumbo. He purposely allows for some exploration to make the gumbo truly yours.  Ive used his base recipe many times now.  It's solid instruction and a fun read. ( Cause we know how Foam writes) Works every dang time. 
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    BD ,Can't post a link on site so i sent it PM.
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    This is a basic recipe from Tony Chacheres 1972 cook book.


    3 pound Fryer (Cut Up)
    4 tablespoon Tony Chacheres Original Creole Seasoning
    4 tablespoon Margarine
    4 Whole Garlic (minced)
    2 Whole Chopped Celery
    1 Whole Chopped Bell Pepper
    1/2 pound Smoke Sausage
    4 Whole Chopped Onions
    3 cup Rice
    6 cup Water


    1: Season chicken generously with Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning.

    2: Add margarine to a 5 quart Dutch oven and fry chicken until brown.

    3: Remove chicken from pot and add all vegetables.

    4: Saute' for 10 minutes.

    5: Add sausage and rice and cook for 10 minutes, mixing thoroughly.

    6: Return chicken to pot; add water and stir.

    7: Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
  8. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Awesome Thanks!
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jambalaya Basics

    I am sure this will be a short explanation. Jambalaya is the opposite of gumbo. Gumbo is soup over rice, jambalaya is the soup cooked into the rice. You use the same ingredients, you just decide is you have clean plates to eat on or clean bowls.

    Jambalaya does not normally involve seafood, because in the rice cooking stage due to the duration of the cooking cycle the seafood becomes tuff. Occasionally you’ll see someone’s shrimp and tomato jambalaya but I consider it more a specialty type dish. So meat is primary objective. That being said due to the cooking time with the rice again, you can see why beef for the most part would not work well unless you like boiled tuff meat.

    That leaves us with the tender and more flavorful selections mostly fowl and pork. In the olden days in Louisiana being the good Catholic state that it is, the average family consisted of 7, I guess they that’s why we were so late getting TV stations here. It wasn’t unusual for families to consist of 12 to 14 though. Feeding a family to them though was never a bother as rice was cheap, and if a friend was invited to stay for supper as was very common, the serving size of the meat diminished. But there was still meat on every plate. Like gumbo the rice was your filler, your binding agent upon which everything else was just flavorings. The Cajun neighbors actually ate more bought less for 7 kids than Mom did for 2. Everyone got some meat and everyone got rice. Then you added what you had grown for flavor modifiers. Onions, garlic, tomatoes (again if you are a Yankee), you are building a meal on what you have to feed everyone some of it all. BTW a Yankee is anyone that lives north of Interstate 10.

    Today the town I went to school in is the Jambalaya Capitol, and the yearly cook-offs finally got so exotic that they had to remove all the options and you now have to cook for judging with only what you are  given, nothing more. I have my copy of last years rules if anyone would like to see it, /PM me and we will see what we can do about getting you a copy. (it’s a pain with the site problems right now, as well as wasted server space).

    The rice…… whereas gumbo should be served with medium grain rice due to the gluten content holding the rice together, jambalaya is make with long grain rice to encourage separation. Any meal can use any rice, I assure you the little old ladies of long ago didn’t have two types of rice laying around, they got 25 or 50 lbs sacks and like flour sacks back then, that’s where the fancy bloomers came from. But today we have the ability to travel to the moon and drive Corvettes so two bags of rice is acceptable. There are also two trains of thought on rice in jambalaya, stickie and moist or separated and dry. I prefer the first although may swear by the later.

    Jambalaya is the one food that although cooked in many pots, really requires cast iron in a big way to get right. Cast iron pots are willed in families here or they used to be. I have 2 each 30 gallon, I believe in the shed I have not cleaned out since Katrina, across the road. I am sure they are sitting out there all rusted which is a shame. But you don’t need a 30 gallon pot to cook, a #14 dutch oven will feed a small crowd or a whole patrol of Boy Scouts, or at home I use a #8 for nearly all my usual needs. You can use any pot, if you are skilled enough. Although I assume if you are reading this, it might be a few cooking’s away for that. You also need a canoe paddle or a shovel for the big pots where you need to turn the rice but that is a different type of jambalaya cooking. Here you’ll need a good seasoned cast iron pot with a lid. In the house I use a metal slotted spoon for my stirring.

    Your next decision is…… if you want your rabbit food in your jambalaya. It’s pretty funny listening to the old men discuss what goes in a jambalaya. The purists say meat rice garlic onions and spice. The gourmets (usually the younger crowd looking for their niche) bell peppers, Mushrooms, parsley, green onions, celery, squash, tomatoes, soups, stocks, etc etc etc… It’s all in what you want. AND it’s about who you are cooking for. These discussions can get pretty heated, pretty fast, especially at competition


    Your normal sides are of course French bread dripping garlic butter but unlike the potato salad used with gumbo, Jambalaya nearly always comes with slaw or the city folks do a tossed green salad now.

    Lets start with basics. I was going to cook a smoked chicken gumbo for supper, but I think I will change to a pork jambalaya. Remember it’s all about impregnating that rice with flavor and of course I cheat.

    Remember like gumbo there is no one definitive Jambalaya. Look at the difference in these two and I assure you any coonass would know and appreciate either.



    My basic Jambalaya recipe

    Meat – Normally pork, fowl, or game.

    Sausage - Tasso and Andouille are nearly never used in Jambalaya, I assume because they take a long boil to do their magic. A good country smoked sausage is normal, when out of state Kielbasa is my sausage of choice.

    Bacon grease – it’s about as much flavor as possible in the least amount of time.

    Onions – I prefer white, but yellow will do. Sautee translucent

    Garlic – Minced, to be browned or caramelized but NOT burned

    Rice – here as with the gumbo it’s always the same ratio, 2 parts cool water to 1 part rice. Long grain rice water does need a splash more water, but no more.

    Water – *see rice* Clear cool water, water, water………..

    Salt & Pepper – Most use red pepper, New Orleans being a port town helped the Cajun acquire food stuffs but most were for trade or sale for profit, the normal Cajuns still used what they grew. Cayenne. Oh and Jalapeños is for tourists or smokers.

    If you can wait till tonight, I’ll try and be more specific and add in some Q-view.

    Did I mention that there is no one definitive way to cook a Jambalaya?
    disco and themule69 like this.
  10. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Thank you so much. Like your gumbo recipe, this is a great history of the dish which ignites motivation and fuels the mind to think about the possibilities of personalised variation . Again you give the foundation and urge everyone to make it their own. 

    And I caught the corvette wise crack… And now I know that on a number of occasions I've visited your high school home town. 

    I'll Q View this tonight.  I'm home with my son we plan on spending the dough to watch the P&R Boxing match. ...And we're making Jambalaya...

    Thanks to all for the help!

    Starting a new thread.  Fight Night Jambalaya


  11. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  12. Foam as always a GREAT wright up. I knew when I saw this thread you would be here with a fantastice response. However I did not expect the Corvette response. For that my friend I think you have crossed the line [​IMG]. I think after a good [​IMG]  and a trip to [​IMG]  you might leave Brian and I alown about our rattle traps..

    [​IMG]  As always thanks for your response.

    Happy smoken.

  13. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    But they look like fun!
  14. [​IMG]



    Sorry Brian I didn't mean to[​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  15. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Not a problem David … But if this is going to be car show…. I'm in! LOL  Love ya man. 

  16. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You know what is coming don't ya! I'm in [​IMG]

    Ya want to race, below is all you'll see...... LOL

    I also have some ocean front property north of Dallas for sale too!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  17. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What? Is that a Volvo or something Foam??  LOL
  18. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    100% antique '31 Ford Town Sedan, Pop calls it the first LTD.....ROFL.

    Now they are using new parts to facilitate easier repairs, none of that here. She takes all the old special tools, original or rebuilt parts, even the grease zerts are special. You ever work one a negative ground system? She does rallies, and takes to the highway with a smile. They are great projects.

    She's special!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  19. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Jesus wept Foam

    Your jambalaya

    Just love it when you wrirte.  THANK YOU (I think)  Its almost 10 pm here in Alberta and I'm sitting here drooling---what am I supposed to do now???  You're killing me friend.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  20. Ok I AM A SMOKER! This thread has given me a better smile than I have had in a while. I love to smoke. I like cars. When Brian started this thread I thought of Foam. I stated that Foam would have the answer......And he tought us history! That My friends has gone full circle.!

    Now who wants to race?[​IMG]

    Happy smoken. And I hope everyone has a GREAT thanksgiving.