Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oven Baked Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

A roasted meat Cajun jambalaya with chicken and smoked sausage.

Oven Baked Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

I love this recipe for Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya - the kind that builds flavor, layer upon layer, with herbs, seasonings, and seared or roasted meats. The primary success tool for making a proper jambalaya to me though, is that it should be cooked in a cast iron dutch oven. All of this takes just a bit more time to pull off but it produces a nice, fluffy jambalaya, without worrying over a pot on the top of the stove.

This version of jambalaya is what is considered to be Cajun - that is, not Creole Jambalaya - as in lacking in tomatoes and shrimp.  As far as "spicy heat" goes, my seasonings here give a nice, respectable bite, but are not gonna set your mouth on fire. Some people have the misconception that "spicy" Cajun and Creole foods equal loading down dishes with a lot of red pepper, and nothing could be further from the truth.

There is a load of layered flavor in this jambalaya from the roasted meats and the combination of the other seasonings, that you won't need to mask it with a lot of red pepper. If you like foods super spicy, use spicy andouille sausage - which has a very high heat level - and up the Cajun seasonings to your taste. There is nothing worse than trying to eat something that somebody has loaded down with cayenne or black pepper trying to "spice" it up, to point that you can't even taste the food any longer. We like spicy down here, but we like flavor with some kick even better! Save the hot pepper sauce for the table. If you lean milder, any nicely seasoned smoked sausage you love will work.

As far as the meats go, you can certainly pan sear the chicken and sausage, but this time of year when the temperatures are down just a bit (well, sorta anyway), I just love everything about roasting the meats in the oven.  Any kind of chicken works with this, though I personally favor thighs for their flavor and ability to retain moisture, or at least a mixed cut up chicken. I used bone-in chicken breasts this time because that is what I had on hand, and if you are going to use only white meat, I do suggest the addition of some butter just before it hits the oven.  You'll need the added fat. I do nothing extravagant with the chicken to roast it; just a bit of oil, salt and pepper to start.

Don't use boneless, skinless chicken for this recipe, because you'll want the flavor that comes from both the bone and the fat of the skin. The dogs will be eagerly waiting at your feet as you peel the skin away.

Just plain sauteed onion this time, with a mixture of herbs and basic seasonings, and some good chicken stock is where you'll be starting.

I absolutely love smoked sausage roasted off in the oven this way - it is so delicious that you will not be able to help but to pop a few pieces in your mouth as you chop them up. Toss in long grain white rice, equal to half the measure of the liquid.

Once the broth and rice comes to a boil, you'll add the chopped chicken and sausage to the pot.

Throw in some slices of cold butter, give it a good stir, cover it and bake it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. When you pull it out of the oven, grab a big fork and fluff it up a bit before serving it hot out of the pot, with just a light sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Just one little cooking note. Y'all know that I am all about making recipes your own and so I keep my mouth politely shut {mostly} when it comes to other folks methods of cooking. But I have run across a few bloggers here lately who have posted jambalaya that resembled more of a soup - liquid with rice floating in it. While I have little doubt that it was tasty, it most assuredly is not what jambalaya should look like! Perfect jambalaya should be fluffy and most certainly should not be soupy in any way, shape or form. Think, fluffy white rice with stuff in it - that is how it should look! Enjoy.
"Perfect jambalaya has pork and long-grain Louisiana rice." John Besh

For more of my favorite jambalaya and rice dressing recipes, pop by my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Oven Baked Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 servings

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 pounds of bone-in chicken, white, dark or mixed
  • 1 pound of mild andouille or smoked sausage
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) of chicken stock
  • 4 cups of raw long grain rice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter, cut into chunks (can omit if using dark or mixed chicken)
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish
  • Hot pepper sauce, for the table

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking pan in the oven. Dredge the chicken in the butter and olive oil mix turning to coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Line the sausages on the pan with the chicken. Roast for 15 minutes; turn the chicken and the sausage and return to the oven to finish cooking – another 20 to 30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Drain on a paper towel and set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the thyme, basil, black pepper, white pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Coarsely chop up the roasted sausage; skin, debone and chop the chicken. When stock comes to a boil, add the rice and stir in. Return to a boil. Add the chicken and sausage, dot with butter, if using, stir, cover the pot and place it into the oven.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Spoon into serving dishes with a side salad or green veggie, and a bottle of hot pepper sauce at the table. Makes a massive amount of jambalaya. Reheat leftovers covered in the microwave.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on November 17, 2009
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  1. Another great one Mary, thanks for sharing.

  2. Lady, I just love your Southern cookin'. This looks wonderful. I still haven't made jambalaya, but one day I will... and the recipe will come from you!

  3. Yummy! This looks delish! I'm going to try this out. Just stopping by from SITS! Have a great weekend.


  4. I just came across your blog the other day. My husband loves this kind of food. So I thought I'd try a few recipes out. I made this one tonight and we both LOVED it, so did my 2 year old. :)

  5. This was delicious! I made it a couple weeks ago and posted on FB but not on here.

    Smelling the sausages roast in the oven was heavenly! They almost didn't make it into the dish.

    The dish is delish!!! Will make again.

  6. Thanks so much Angie! I appreciate you stopping back by to comment & I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it.

  7. Do you know how hard it is to find a dish that EVERYONE loves at the same time???? Of course you do, you're a mom & wife! LOL
    I made this today & let me just say.. it was a grand slam! All three of my kids loved it, my mom loved it.. and I loved it. My hubs didn't get to try it yet, but I'm sure he'll love it too. He's not big on rice, but he'll eat a little now and then.
    I didn't have thyme, so I used Herbs de Provence. I ALWAYS have chicken stock on hand, but I was out, so I used beef stock instead & it was still yummy (I called it dirty jambalaya lol!) I didn't use as much chicken as I should have, but that can be easily corrected next time.
    Thank you for a perfect Jambalaya recipe! It's so hard to find good authentic Cajun recipes. I will trust all of yours happily!

  8. Yes, I do so that's awesome Melissa! Keeping my fingers crossed for the hubby too!

  9. Hello! I love shrimp and am contemplating adding some to the recipe. Would this alter the taste toomuch? How should i adjust the proportions, particularly for the broth?

    1. I don't add shrimp to this recipe but I do have the shrimp version of jambalaya here. You'll see that it is similar but has some variation in the ingredients, including the addition of tomatoes. I prefer that one for shrimp. Hope that helps!

  10. Silly Question, but do you cook the rice all the way through before transporting it into the oven or boil for a few minutes at al dente then oven?

    1. Not at all silly. Although you can cook this completely on the stovetop, and many folks do, I prefer the oven baked texture, so for my method I do not cook the rice all the way through. When the stock comes to a boil, you'll add in the rice, bring it back to a boil, add the meats, dot with butter, stir, cover and transfer to the oven.

  11. I was going to make Cajun roast beef po-boys for dinner yesterday, but the meat didn't thaw as quickly as I had hoped. I was scrounging for something else Cajun or Creole to make since we were acknowledging Mardi Gras in our house in Washington. ;) I remembered this dish and was able to pull the ingredients together. I think I had make it once before, but after last night I will be making it many, many more times!!! I don't always enjoy foods that I cook, especially when I am in a hurry and things don't seem to be clicking along (which describes my meal prep last night), but I loved this! And the whole family did, too. I was worried it would be too spicy, but no one complained and most had seconds. Thanks so much for this website and your great recipes!!!

    1. I have nights like that too so I totally get what you mean! I'm so glad that y'all enjoyed the jambalaya!

  12. I just wanted to first tell you how much I love and have come to rely on your website and E-cookbook for reference and inspiration. Very few people who claim to cook southern really understand what that entails and you're authentic and nailed it! So often I use your ideas and techniques and maybe not the full recipe and an example of that was yesterday. I had worked on nursing a really nice pot of pintos with smoked neck bones in em all day and had a bag of rice and 2 pounds of discounted smoked sausages to use up. I enjoy rice but alas, one of those things I rarely make well - i prefer it greasy and separate in texture but fluffy still. Hard to get right. I used your technique for roasting my sausages in the oven on a sheet pan and once they were nicely popping and colored, I drained off a bit of their bits and grease to fry up an onion and few cloves of garlic in my iron skillet. I added 2 cups of long grain rice and toasted till they were all greasy and browned. I pulled out 4 cups of my precious homemade chicken stock and nuked it till really hot, and put the rice, stock and sausages in a 13x9 pyrex dish on 350 for 45 mins sealed with foiled real tight and a sheet pan ontop to ensure it steamed well. Crossed my fingers and I'm here to say, it was PERFECT! That's just an example of me reading about 20 of your recipes and using this and that till I come up with my own. I often follow your directions exactly and it ALWAYS is amazing. Thank you for sharing with us!
    Charity Dutton - charityduttonfb - FB account.

    1. Wow Charity, I want some of that!! Yum! Thank you so much for sharing and for such a sweet note with me. I really appreciate that!

  13. Very delicious! Your right, I gobbled up a few pieces of the sausage before going into the dish, oops! For left over chicken I used your mimis rotisserie style stcky chicken in this dish. The garlic was a nice addition as well. Thank you for sharing this recipe. We had a wonderful dinner.

    1. I know! Those are hard to resist aren't they? Mellie, I feel like I need to give you an award as the biggest DSD fan. Thank you so much for your confidence in me & my recipes and for taking the time to comment & let me know. That really means the world to me! Thank you.

    2. Oh my how cool is that!! I am smiling ear to ear right now! Your recipes and you mean the world to me too.
      I actually was going to put a p.s. on my comment to let you know that I ordered your book yesterday off amazon. They said it should be here on may 27th. I got caught up in dinner I forgot to say something about it.
      But wow, what an honor this is and I just prayed yesterday to have good news about something (we are buying AND selling a house right now, what a luxury this is, said no one ever!!! And I get on here thinking I'm giving you good news and read this, love that power of prayer!
      Thank you thank you. I hope your day is wonderful, I know my is now!

    3. We just went through that buying/selling thing last year. Our old house was paid for but for a multitude of reasons I wanted to move into the city, closer to the grandkids and away from the Gulf. We started looking and then the right house showed up so we bought it and moved, then put up the old house for sale. I'm not super religious but I was raised a Catholic so I bought a St. Joseph statue, I didn't bury him but stowed him away in a dark place instead :) and said the prayer every day. We got the old house ready to sell and within 5 days of listing it, we had an offer. I don't know if St. Joseph had anything to do with it, but he's out on a shelf in his prominent position in my office now!!

  14. Hi there. I posted a comment back to you. Not sure if you got it. Didn't want to hit the button twice. Don't wanna be the one with the same comment twice, ha. Didn't want you to think I didn't read it. Anyway, making your cpuntry style pork chops and gravy (never made gravy before) tonight. I know the hubs can't wait. Again, thank you.

  15. I love this recipe! I have it saved on my phone. And my children love it too. Thanks for the great recipes.

  16. I love this recipe! It's saved on my phone. And children also love it. It's easy and tastes delicious. Thanks for the great recipes.

  17. I am planning on making this dish for a party of 25 last weekend -- however, my oven just broke and I will not have one in time for the party! I am trying to convert all of my recipes to make-ahead, stovetop, crock pot, or grill friendly. Do you have any suggestions on how I could still make this dish? TuffToodle@aol.com

    1. I'm picky about my jambalaya so don't like the texture of crockpot jambalaya - it gets gummy and not fluffy like in the stove. You won't be able to roast the meats but that's not a huge issue. Just cook them on the stove or on the grill, but you can absolutely cook the jambalaya on the stovetop. You just have to let it cook, covered and low enough that it doesn't cook too fast and burn on the bottom. Don't remove the lid until you absolutely have to check it though! The steam is what makes it fluffy and letting that out will make it sticky and gummy instead.

  18. Not sure my Dutch oven is large enough. Is 4 cups of raw rice correct? That will be more than 8 cups when done, correct? Love your recipes and your help!

    1. Hi Susan! Yes. The recipe is correct! I used a 6-quart Dutch oven to make "a massive amount of jambalaya," but if you don't want to make that much, you can cut the recipe in half also.


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