Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot

On Valentine’s Day, aka Day of Chocolates & Flowers, I couldn’t think of a better complement to all the sweetness than something hot and spicy.  When I think of fiery hot, I think of Jambalaya…which makes me think of…Chicago.


Actually, yes.  Some of the tastiest Jambalaya to ever burn my tongue is in good ole’ Chi-town, which is, coincidentally, where I met my Valentine.  See how it all comes full circle?

Believe it or not, my favorite recipe for Jambalaya is from Chef Robert Childers of the House of Blues, Chicago.  Spice it up, spice it down (like I sometimes do for the sake of my little ones), it’ll fire up your palate for sure.



3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1--inch cubes
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 rib celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
8 ounces Andouille or Kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1½ cups converted rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
½ pound small raw shrimp, peeled, cleaned and deveined
Chopped parsley for garnish


In a large heavy dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil and brown the chicken breasts and thighs for 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and parsley and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the sausage, Cajun spice, thyme, cayenne, bay leaf, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, chicken stock, and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Gently nestle the shrimp into the rice 5 minutes before the jambalaya is finished.

When ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork. Garnish each serving with chopped parsley.

from Burt Wolf’s Local Flavor’s, Chicago, via


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  1. Sofia

    Very nice. LOVE Cajun / Creole food. Not that oong about did a Gumbo. Talking about good soul food. Will definitely try this one!

  2. Margaret

    Great looking recipe. Will cook it for my cafe clients to-morrrow. M

  3. Granger

    Can anyone explain the use of converted rice?

    Could you use regular rice or even brown?

    • kitchenworthy

      Converted rice is actually good ole Uncle Ben’s. I’ve tried using regular rice (white and brown), but the disadvantage is that the jambalaya can get very sticky so you have to monitor it closely and add water or broth if necessary. The converted rice does not stick and results in a less thick or sticky end product. In the end, regular rice will work just fine and taste just as good! Just keep a close eye on it!

  4. Thom Richards

    Love Jambalya! I live in Portland, OR and the only place I know to get the real stuff is a place called “Acadia”. They are from New Orleans and they know what it is all about. Most of the time I make it from scratch, but also I cheat sometimes and make Zatarains Mix. Best to you and your family! Thom

    • kitchenworthy

      Nothing wrong with Zatarains! The nice thing about doing it from scratch is you get the customize the spices!

    • kitchenworthy

      This one is definitely worth a try. It’s one of those dishes to pull out of the cookbook once or twice a year!

  5. 5 Star Foodie

    This looks like an excellent jambalaya recipe – delicious and spicy! I always make a pasta jambalya and need to make one with rice very soon!

    • kitchenworthy

      Funny, I always make it with rice…I need to do it with pasta next time around :)

  6. Liz

    ahh, brings back memories. Chicago is only second to New Orleans as my favorite place for jambalya!

    I think I’m going to just start planing my menus based on your blog, I see your great dishes and start drooling.

    • kitchenworthy

      Wasn’t Chicago awesome? So many good food memories :)

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