Why jambalaya should be your new go-to midweek meal
27 April 2018 | Schwartz
A fusion blend of French and Spanish influence, Cajun-style jambalaya was in fact first whipped up in the sunny climes of Louisiana, one of the modern world’s great cultural melting pots. This classic American dish isn’t much younger than the country itself, and ever since the expertly blended flavours have been continuously honed and crafted to perfection – just like our recipe mix, in fact. Find out why this authentically sweet and spicy chicken jambalaya should become your new go-to midweek meal.
OK, so what is jambalaya?
If you’ve ever started following a recipe and then abandoned the instructions halfway through to experiment, you’re likely to be good friends with jambalaya.
The origins of the name jambalaya stem from the Provençal word 'jambalaia', which literally means a ‘mishmash’, as well as a type of rice. And that is the dish, in a nutshell. It generally features protein, vegetables and rice in a rich and smoky spice blend.
One of the best things about jambalaya is that it’s completely customisable. Simply throw your favourite meat or seafood together with a whole bunch of rice and seasonal veggies for a sweet and spicy risotto-style mix. This also makes it the perfect dish for using up yesterday’s leftovers.
Where does Jambalaya come from?
This one’s a bit of a loaded question, as many different places claim to be the home of this dish. Truth is, the answer is as much of a mishmash as its title.
Rural Louisiana, home of Cajun Jambalaya
There are actually two main types of jambalaya that differ in a few important ways. Creole jambalaya, a tomato-based dish more similar to stew, was first created in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Cajun jambalaya, more closely related to paella, has its roots in rural Louisiana, where the local swampland offered everything from oysters to boar to turtle or even alligator as ingredients.
Cajun seasoning and the Schwartz Chicken Jambalaya Recipe Mix
A little sweet, a little smoky, and with a little warming punch – our expertly-blended Chicken Jambalaya Recipe Mix turns the dish’s classic flavours of paprika, garlic and chilli powder into a balanced Cajun seasoning the whole family will love. If you like a spicier kick, simply add a little extra Cayenne Chilli Pepper during cooking.
While traditional recipes often call for stock, our recipe mix simply needs to be mixed with water to add that extra depth of authentic flavour. Got some left over? Try using it as a dry rub for meat or fish before cooking, mixing it with Greek yoghurt for a savoury dip, or adding it to olive oil for a salad dressing.
How to make jambalaya
Cajun jambalaya can be recreated in around 25 minutes – even less if you’re using pre-cooked meat or whipping up a veggie version. You can find all of the recipe ingredient measurements along with the full recipe here, but the whole process can be summed up in six ingredients and four simple steps:
- First off, simply fry your choice of protein with onion for around 8-10 minutes.
- Add rice, green pepper (or whatever other vegetables you have to hand), and cook for around one minute.
- Mix up a sachet of our Chicken Jambalaya Recipe Mix with water, then stir it into the pan with chopped tomatoes.
- Bring everything to the boil before reducing the heat. Then cover and let it simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
Yes, it really is that easy. But the great thing about jambalaya is that it can be adapted to suit your tastes. So don’t stop there – get experimenting in the kitchen and find your own flavour. After all, that’s exactly how the dish was invented in the first place!
Inspired? Pick up a packet of our sweet and smoky Chicken Jambalaya Recipe Mix today.