What’s the difference between Cajun and Creole? The differences are subtle and few, but there is a definite distinction between the two. Simply put, Cajun is the food of the common people, Creole is somewhat more elevated in it’s preparation and presentation. Jambalaya is nothing if not a food of the people – simple to throw together, no advance skills necessary, and VERY tasty!
1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb chicken, diced
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, julienned
1 green bell pepper, diced
3-4 stalks celery, cut on the bias
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, diced
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb Andouille sausage, sliced
Salt and pepper
A few notes before we get started: I use chicken breast, but leg and thigh meat is also quite tasty. Use whatever kind of chicken meat you like. Creole seasoning comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors. Find one you like, or mix your own. You can find some excellent creole seasoning recipes online without much effort. I strongly recommend using Louisiana hot sauce over any other. Sure, Tabasco sauce is fine, but there’s a very different flavor to a real Louisiana hot sauce, and you’ll notice the difference in the finished dish. Also, this recipe makes a very large pot of Jambalaya, which is pretty much the way Cajun cooking should be done, with friends and family in mind.
In a small bowl, toss the chicken and creole seasoning together. In a VERY large skillet or 6 qt sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until rippling. Add the pepper, celery and onion, and sautee just until the onions begin to clarify. Add the garlic and stir to prevent burning. After about 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and chicken. Cook until the chicken is tender, but not cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp and sausage, and stir until combined. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce, along with the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, and simmer until the rice is cooked through. Add the shrimp, and stir until well mixed. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the shrimp to cook through, serve immediately.