It's Mardi Gras, Baby!!!

Well, technically it's not Mardi Gras until next Tuesday. I was really feeling the New Orleans spirit this year, due to visiting Louisiana over the holidays with Will and the Saints (who dat?? who dat??!!) playing in the Superbowl. I decided to throw an early Mardi Gras party last Saturday for a couple of our friends, and I had a fairly extensive menu. I covered everything from appetizers to main dishes to side dishes to desserts to drinks, and suffice to say I was pretty damn tired by the time we bid our last guest farewell. However, it was totally worth it, the food turned out great and everyone had a blast.

My best friend Rachel actually made this jambalaya a few months ago for a cooking contest at her work, and she won first place! Naturally when I decided to throw this party I had to ask her for the recipe. She found it on, and received rave reviews from both the judges and her co-workers. I think the best thing about this recipe is that you can alter the ingredients to suit your tastes. For example, I knew I had to at least double the recipe, because we had a fair amount of people come over. But instead of using 24 shrimp, I just used a random 2-lb bag of Tiger shrimp that had been sitting in my freezer for a few months. I also used extra green pepper, 1 1/2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes. I was thrilled with the results, and everyone kept going back for more!


  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced (I used 1 lb of kielbasa, since I can't get Andouille over here)
  • Salt and pepper

1. Combine the shrimp, chicken and Essence in a bowl and toss to coat evenly.
2. Heat the oil over high heat in a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add the onions, peppers and celery, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces.
3. Stir in the rice and slowly add the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture, and the sausage.
4. Cook until for about about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Essence.

Yield: 4 servings


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