There is Creole jambalaya (with tomatoes) and there is Cajun jambalaya (without tomatoes). This chicken sausage rice casserole was inspired by Cajun jambalaya. Spicy sausage meat is browned and, in the rendered fat, sausage slices and chicken are browned then partially cooked. Rice and water are added then everything is simmered for half an hour until the rice is done. The result is a very tasty one-pot dish, smoky, mildly spicy and beautifully colored which will make you ask for a second, and even a third helping.
Inspired by Cajun jambalaya? Yes. See, traditional jambalaya is characterized by the jambalaya “holy trinity” of onions, celery and green bell peppers. I didn’t add celery and green bell peppers to this dish so I can’t claim that this chicken sausage rice casserole is authentic traditional jambalaya.
What sausages did I use? The base is chistorra, a fatty Spanish sausage made with garlic, salt, and paprika. The other is Hungarian sausage.
I used chicken drumsticks, each chopped through the bone into two portions to allow the bones to release its flavors. If you prefer the convenience of chicken fillets, you will need to use broth instead of water. I was okay with using only water to cook this dish because there were enough chicken bones to simultaneously create a broth while everything cooked.
- 125 grams chistorra or other fatty sausage
- 400 grams Hungarian sausages or other lightly smoked and spicy variety
- 7 to 8 chicken drumsticks
- 15 fresh basil leaves finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tbsp. of dried thyme)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large white onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cup long-grain rice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Press the chistorra out of their casings. Discard the casings.
Slice the Hungarian sausages into thick rings.
Heat a pan. Add the chistorra and cook, stirring, until crumbled and fat is rendered.
Add the Hungarian sausages and cook for about two minutes. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is no longer pink. Pour in about two cups of water.
Add the basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
While the chicken simmers, chop the onions.
In another pan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onions and cook gently over medium heat. When the onions start to turn translucent, turn off the heat.
Add the onions to the chicken and sausages. Add the rice. Pour in another two to three cups of water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes without peeking.
At the end of 20 to 25 minutes, the rice should be done and the chicken thoroughly cooked. Turn off the heat.
Add the chopped parsley. Stir lightly to distribute the parsley and fluff up the rice. Sprinkle with more chopped parsley before serving.
This is a one-pot dish so there really is no need for a separate main course. The Jambalaya-inspired chicken and sausage rice is great and sufficiently filling by itself.