1cup(100g) okrachopped (this is optional, or you could use green peppers or courgette instead)
18de-veined king prawns, tail on
2spring onions/scallions chopped
1lemon chopped into wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pan, add in the onions, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened.
Add in the garlic and continue to cook for another minute, then add in the chicken and cook (giving it the occasional stir) for about 5 mins until the chicken is sealed.
Add in the chorizo and cook for another couple of minutes, then add in the red peppers, cook for another minute before adding the rice.
Given the rice a stir and add in the Cajun spice, paprika and tomato puree. Stir together until everything is coated in the spices.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and about 3 ¼ cups (780ml) of the stock. Stir and bring to the boil. Keep giving everything a stir to prevent the rice sticking to the bottom.
Once it’s reached bubbling point, place the lid on and turn the heat down so that the dish is barely bubbling. Cook for about 20 minutes, giving it a stir every so often to prevent the rice from sticking. You may find that the rice is starting to look too dry, if so, add some more stock.
After the 20 mins are up, add in the chopped okra, give everything a stir, add a bit more of the stock if needed, place the lid back on a cook for another 5 mins.
After the 5 mins, test the rice, if it’s nearly cooked, place the prawns (shrimp) on top, put the lid back on and cook for a further 5 mins. If the rice is still hard, continue to cook (adding a little more stock water again if needed) until it’s nearly ready before adding the prawns.
Once cooked, sprinkle on the chopped spring onions/scallions and serve with wedges of lemon.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes - this recipe is already gluten free providing you use gluten free stock. Also check your chorizo brand. They're often gluten free, but best to check..
Can I make it ahead?
Yes, cook the jambalaya, then cool, cover and refrigerate. I find it's best to transfer to a microwaveable container and heat through in the microwave with a splash of water until piping hot.It can be reheat in the oven too for about 20 minutes on 180C/350F. Add a splash of water or stock and stir once or twice whilst reheating.Personally I'm not keen on reheated prawns (shrimp), so i'd add leave them out when cooking the dish ahead and add them to the dish for the last 5 minutes of reheating..
Will it freeze?
Yes, cool, cover and freeze, then defrost in the refrigerator over night before heating in the oven or microwave (as per the instructions above).I find it better to freeze in portions, as it takes quite a while for a whole pan to cool down and to defrost..
Can I make it in the crockpot?
I haven't had success at this one yet (sloppy rice argh!). I'll update this post if I crack it..
Can I make it in the oven?
Yes, after adding the tomatoes and stock and bringing to the boil in step 3, cover and place in the oven at 180C/350F for 20 minutes. Continue with the rest of the instructions (adding okra and prawns) but put back in the oven to continue cooking..
Tips for success:
Best pan to use: I like to use a wide cast iron pan for this dish (like this one <--affiliate link), but you can also use a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) with a lid. Using a pan that's too deep can mean the rice doesn't cook as evenly and you have to stir it more - which results in sloppy, sticky rice.
Stirring: Try not to stir too often. Stirring the rice activates the starch, which can make the rice sticky and mushy.
Using cooked meat/prawns - Can you cooked prawns and chicken instead of raw? Yes, add the chicken in during stage one and just heat through for a minute before continuing with step 2. Add the prawns as you would with raw prawns (they take the same amount of time to heat through as they do to cook from raw).