Originating from Louisiana, this smokey and sumptuous dish is easily adaptable for different dietary requirements (see variations), making it ideal for feeding housemates and guests alike. Not only is it healthy and comforting, it is all cooked in one pan! Perfect if, like every student I have ever met, you hate washing up. Serves 6 (or 4 who like to go back for second helpings…)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 onions (red or white)
- 1 courgette
- 1 pepper (any colour works)
- 425g chicken (cut into pieces)
- 100g spicy chorizo
- 1 tin or carton (390g) of chopped tomatoes
- 200ml of stock, made with one stock cube
(I usually use vegetable stock cubes, but you could also use chicken stock cubes)
- Two packets of microwavable basmati rice
(You can use brown, white, or one packet of each like I do.)
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp paprika*
- A pinch of cayenne pepper*
(I’m a wimp, so I make my jambalaya rather mild. If you are a fan of heat then add more cayenne pepper to taste.)
*Don’t have these spices in your cupboard? Try using 1 tbsp of spicy jerk paste instead. Just keep in mind that dried herbs will last a lot longer in your student kitchen cupboards than a jar of jerk paste will.
For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken and chorizo for Quorn chicken pieces. If you do not like Quorn, then you could always throw in tins of beans, chickpeas and add extra spice.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or that pot which you use to cook mountains of pasta in). While that heats up, chop the onions (or get someone else to do it for you, because nobody wants to cry those tears of pain) then fry them in the pan for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the chicken pieces, paprika and cayenne pepper to the pan. Chop the courgette and pepper, then add these to the pan and fry for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, stock and mixed herbs. Bring to the boil and then simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. (Top tip: use the stock to rinse out the container the chopped tomatoes were in, this way you will get everything out of the tin.)
- Slice the chorizo and add to the pan, then carefully stir in the rice (this usually makes a mess if your pan is not big enough, which mine never seems to be). Simmer for another 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked with no pink remaining.
- Add more spice to taste, then enjoy!
All images courtesy of Celeste Adams.