How To Make My Mom's Jambalaya — Seasoned With Southern Charm

Refinery29's My Kitchen Sink is an exploration of our most meaningful recipes — the go-to dishes that we turn to time and again. Not only do we enjoy eating them, and have the assembly mastered, but they also have an important personal history. Step into our kitchens to relive these stories, learn the recipes, and make them with us.
Today, we're making a big pot of jambalaya that's seasoned with homemade spices and southern charm. The recipe comes from Refinery29's Rissa Papillion, whose mother, Wanda, taught her how to make it before Rissa left home for college. “I get a lot of my cooking inspiration from my mom. She’s the one who taught me how to taste things, how to experiment with my cooking. She’s my number one cooking role model,” says Rissa, who describes her mom as not only an amazing cook but the glue that keeps her family close. Why jambalaya? Rissa describes the Cajun dish as easy to make in a big-batch and store for at least a week in the fridge. Plus, her mom's jambalaya is a comforting reminder of home.
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Growing up between Tampa and Atlanta, Rissa learned cooking as a southern expression of affection, "It really doesn’t matter what you cook, as long as you put love into it — that’s what makes it taste good.” Starting with the, "holy trinity of Cajun cooking," (a.k.a. celery, onions, and green pepper), a made-from-scratch spice mix, and a few improvised dance moves, Rissa whips up her mom's made-with-love jambalaya in the video above. Find the full recipe below to try for yourself at home with Rissa's tips: booty bumps while stirring and swim goggles for chopping onions.
Rissa's Jambalaya
Ingredients
25 medium shrimp; peeled, deveined, and cut in half
2 chicken breasts, cubed
3-4 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the pan)
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, sliced and de-seeded
1/2 cup celery, sliced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1 (10-oz.) can Rotel tomatoes
4-5 whole bay leaves
3-4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce (Tabasco), to taste
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
6 cups chicken stock
12 oz. package Andouille sausage (4 or 5 links), chopped
3 tablespoons Creole Seasoning (recipe below)
Creole Seasoning
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Instructions
1. Combine chopped chicken and sausage together in a bowl and coat well with two tablespoons of the Creole seasoning. In a separate bowl coat peeled, deveined, and cut shrimp with remaining tablespoon of seasoning.
2. Heat olive oil in large sauté or sauce pan over medium high heat and add onions, green pepper, and celery — cooking until translucent and softened (about 4 minutes). Add in garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, and sauces, stirring well to incorporate (about 3 minutes).
3. Add rice followed slowly by the chicken broth, a cup at a time — stirring well after each cup addition. After about 4 minutes, once the mixture is simmering, turn down the heat to medium and continue to simmer until rice is semi-cooked (about 12-20 minutes more).
4. Add meat mixture and cook, continuing to simmer until cooked through, and following with seasoned shrimp. Once cooked through, remove from heat and season with additional Creole spice mix to taste before serving!
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