Chicken jambalaya with chorizo

Chicken jambalaya with chorizo
This is a hearty recipe for a chicken jambalaya with chorizo. It's a simple one pot meal, which can be cooked in advance, and reheated or left on a gentle simmer. I add chorizo, as it gives the dish a glorious colour, and its spicy taste makes a fantastic pairing with the rice and chicken.
Jambalaya is part of southern American cuisine, but has its roots in the Caribbean — where a melting pot of Spanish influences and native palettes combined to create a dish which bears many similarities to saffron-coloured paella.
Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, cooking the meat, the vegetables, and then simmering stock and rice until cooked.
There are two primary methods of making jambalaya – this method is similar to the Creole style as it uses tomatoes, and the meat is left in the pan the whole time. The Southwestern Cajun style doesn't make use of tomatoes, and the meat is browned for longer — changing the colour of the finished dish to a brown too.
If you want to alter the balance of vegetables you can without any concern, but traditionally the foundation is onion (50%), pepper (25%), and celery (25%).
If you are using fresh chorizo sausages, add a little extra paprika — as cured chorizo has a much stronger paprika flavour and colour.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 200 g cured chorizo
  • 300 g chicken breasts (chopped)
  • 250 g basmati/long grain rice
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)


  • 200 g king prawns (shrimp) (peeled)


  • In a large pan drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil, and add add the chopped chicken and onions – cook over a medium heat until the chicken has sealed and the onions are soft.
  • Add the pepper, garlic, chorizo and Cajun seasoning, and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Here, I usually would cook the cured chorizo for a few minutes longer as I prefer it quite crispy.
  • Stir in the rice, add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, paprika (if not using cured chorizo), king prawns, and the chilli powder.
  • Cover and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes. The rice will cook and the colours of the paprika, chorizo and tomatoes will impart a vibrant red and orange glow to the jambalaya.
  • Serve hot, and generously.
The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that 'jambalaya' comes from the Provençal word 'jambalaia', meaning a mish mash, or mix up.