This recipe took me a year to perfect. The secret to making a Cajun jambalaya is to get the right amount of fond, those delicious browned bits left behind from browning your meats, to build the flavor and color of your jambalaya. We’re also going to add a little tomato paste for color and flavor.
For the Creole seasoning: Combine the salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, white pepper and cumin in a medium bowl.
For the jambalaya: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart heavy-bottomed pot or large Dutch oven over medium heat. Rub the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons of the Creole seasoning in a medium bowl until evenly coated. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the sausage to the pot and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl with the chicken. The bottom of the pot should be covered with browned bits.
Add the celery, onions and peppers and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, cayenne, thyme and 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning. Add the rice and stir once or twice to coat. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cooked chicken and sausage and remaining Creole seasoning. Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced, and you see little holes on the top, about 30 minutes.
Use a fork to stir in half of the green onions and fluff the rice. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the remaining green onions and serve immediately.
If you want to add shrimp to this recipe, stir them in with the green onions so the shrimp don’t overcook.