Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya

December 14, 2015 (Last Updated: May 27, 2020)
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A bowl of jambalaya with chicken and sausage

When I reviewed Besh Big Easy recently, there was a long list of recipes I was dying to try. The book contains lots of fantastic authentic New Orleans dishes, and I only grazed the surface with the delectable New Orleans Shrimp Étouffée. When I received andouille sausage from D’Artagnan, I knew this was the time for jambalaya.

cubed andouille sausage in a metal bowl
Andouille sausage from D’Artagnan

Jambalaya is a traditional rice dish from Louisiana containing a combination of smoked sausage (such as andouille), fresh sausage, and another protein, such a chicken or shrimp. The versions hailing from New Orleans sometimes contain a bit of tomato, while the other regions of Louisiana typically omit that ingredient. Tons of spices, and a base of onions, bell pepper, and celery make up the rest of this super flavorful dish.

a pot of chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya with a bowl of jambalaya on the side

The key, I’ve learned, to cooking New Orleans fare is to really build flavors by taking the time to cook each ingredient or layer of ingredients longer than you’d normally expect. Here you begin with the andouille and fresh sausage. I used fresh chicken sausage in place of the pork called for in the recipe. The two are browned together before adding the chicken. I replaced the chicken thighs with an equivalent amount of chicken tenders, because I had some in my freezer already.

closeup of a pot of chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya

Next comes chopped onion, which spends some quality time caramelizing together with the meats. Then the bell peppers, celery and garlic. Next is the rice (par-boiled/converted rice doesn’t stick together) and spices such as thyme, cayenne, paprika, and bay leaf. Finally, deglaze the pan with the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock/broth and you’re well on your way to a spectacular jambalaya.

step by step photos of making jambalaya with chicken and sausage
Clockwise from top left: browning sausages, adding chicken, adding aromatics, adding rice and spices, adding tomatoes and broth, finished jambalaya

The dish is finished with chopped scallions, adding a bit more vibrancy to a relatively heavy dish. I lightened it up a bit myself by using a bit less oil, and swapping the pork sausage for chicken. The finished product is nicely spiced without being too spicy. The rice is so flavorful, and each bite is studded with a variety of meats and finely chopped aromatics.

closeup of a bowl of jambalaya with chicken and sausage

I must say, my first foray into jambalaya-making was quite the success. I’m two-for-two so far cooking from Besh Big Easy, and I couldn’t be more pleased! This jambalaya would be a great comfort dish in the dead of winter, between all the flavorful spices, and the various meats. It’s stick-to-your-ribs delicious.

chicken and andouille jambalaya in a large pot with a wooden spoon
closeup of a bowl of jambalaya with chicken and sausage

Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya

A Louisiana classic, this recipe for chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya is spicy and delicious.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Louisiana, New Orleans
Servings 4 to 5 servings
Calories 831 kcal


  • 8 ounces andouille or other smoked sausage chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh pork sausage removed from casings (I used fresh chicken sausage)
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat or oil
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs roughly cubed (I used an equivalent amount of chicken tenders)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • Big dash Tabasco
  • Big dash Worcestershire
  • 2 green onions chopped


  • Heat a very big, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. (This lets the pot heat uniformly, preventing hot spots that are likely to burn.) Brown the andouille and pork sausage in the bacon fat, stirring slowly with a long wooden spoon to build color. While the sausage is browning, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot (the dark meat is so flavorful!), stir, and cook until the chicken turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Once the chicken has browned, add the onions and let them caramelize for about 15 minutes to build more flavor. I add the bell peppers late, to save as much of the color as I can. Add the celery (I always use the leaves, too) and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that everything cooks evenly.
  • Next add the rice, pimenton, cayenne, thyme, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 tablespoon pepper to the pot and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes, stock, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Fold in the green onions. Cover again, turn off the heat, and let the rice steam in the hot pot for another 10 minutes. Fluff the jambalaya with a fork and serve!

Notes & Nutrition

From Besh Big Easy
Servings 5.0 * calories 831 * Total Fat 46 g * Saturated Fat 11 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 136 mg * Sodium 1112 mg * Potassium 188 mg * Total Carbohydrate 68 g * Dietary Fiber 4 g * Sugars 4 g * Protein 41 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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