North American Chicken Jambalaya Recipe



Chicken Jambalaya always brings to mind the Carpenters song; Jambalaya (On the Bayou) Not a Carpenters song but a dish traditionally made in one pot, with meats and vegetables. It is completed by adding stock and rice. Looking at various recipes in more detail, this strikes me now as a typical left-over dish. Cooking up what you have around at the time.



  • 1 x 2kg (4 lb) chicken, parson’s nose removed
  • A few bay leaves
  • 1 onion, unpeeled, chopped into quarters
  • About 200 g from one or more of the following cooked meats:
  • * Cooked ham
  • * 1 chorizo sausage, peeled and roughly chopped
  • * Sliced, cooked belly pork
  • * Roughly sliced bacon, could be uncooked if thin enough
  • 40 g (1 ½ oz) butter, ghee or olive oil
  • 4 to 7 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 6 spring onions, chopped on the diagonal
  • 2 sticks of celery, ‘strings’ removed with a mandoline and chopped into moons
  • 3 or 4 sweet bell peppers, any colour, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 teaspoons paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano or dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped, if available
  • 1 large can plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 500ml to 600 ml of the water the chicken was boiled in
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • Chillies, chilli sauce or chilli powder to add warmth, not heat.
  • * I used: 1 teaspoon chilli guajillo (powder), 2 teaspoons pasilla chilli (diced), 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chillies (diced)
  • * Suggested alternative if using sauce: 1 to 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 g (14 oz) basmati rice (long grain rice)


  • Finely chopped parsley


  1. Remove any giblets, cut off and discard the Parson’s nose.
  2. Wash the chicken under cold running water, inside and out
  3. Place the chicken in a large pot and pour over just enough boiling water to cover
  4. Add the onion and the bay leaf and boil for about 1 hour or until tender
  5. Set the chicken to one side, reserve the stock and discard the bay leaf and onion quarters
  6. Once chicken has cooled discard skin and bone
  7. Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the garlic for a few minutes
  8. Add the ham, spring onions, celery and pepper and sautee for 5 minutes
  9. Rinse rice under cold running water for a few minutes until the water runs clear
  10. Add the rice and stir-fry for a minute so the grains are coated by the oil
  11. Add the stock (about 500 ml to start), tomatoes, spices, Worcester sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper and chicken
  12. Stir well, cover and simmer on a very low hob until the liquid has gone and the rice is cooked. Add a little more water if it dries out before the rice is done.
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