Mommas Meat Jambalaya

A Louisiana Creole dish with a Cajun kick from Charita Jones' homemade seasoning mix
By Charita Jones
Mommas Meat Jambalaya
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: medium


For Momma's Cajun seasoning

  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 60 g dried onion flakes
  • 25 g dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 50 g salt

For the jambalaya:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 3 tbsp Mommas cajun seasoning, (see recipe)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, half diced, half cut into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, half diced, half cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper, half diced, half cut into strips
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 chorizo sausages
  • 1 tsp salt
  • · ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 chilli, preferable Scotch bonnet, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400 g easy-cook American rice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, (optional)
  • 450 g mixed vegetables, eg diced carrot, courgette and peas
  • 1 litre chicken stock or water
  • 500 g peeled raw king prawns or crayfish
  • handful mushrooms, sliced

Tips and Suggestions

gumbo file is the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree and a traditional ingredient in Cajun cooking . It gives both a distinctive flavour and thickens liquids in sauces and stews.


1. For Momma's Cajun seasoning : put all the seasoning ingredients except for the salt into a food process or spice grinder and blend to a fine consistency. Be careful not to breathe it in, or it will have you sneezing! Mix the blended seasoning with the salt and store in a jar (it will keep for about a month).

2. For the jambalaya: cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. Sprinkle over the lemon juice, then 1 tablespoon of Momma's Cajun seasoning and set aside to marinate.

3. Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil, followed by the chopped onion, diced peppers, crushed garlic and the chorizo. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the remaining Cajun seasoning, the salt, the pepper and half the ground cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion and peppers have softened and the chorizo begins to release some of its juices.

4. Stir in the fresh chilli (remember that Scotch bonnets are very hot). Add the rice and stir well, then add the turmeric, the cumin seeds, the remaining tablespoon of Cajun Seasoning and the remaining ground cumin. Stir everything together until the rice is fully coated then add the mixed vegetables and the water or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the gumbo file. Simmer, uncovered, over a low heat for 20 minutes.

5. When the rice has swollen and is almost cooked, add the prawns or crayfish and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes, until the seafood is cooked. Adjust the seasoning according to taste - you might want to add a touch more chilli.

6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the sliced onion, peppers and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

7. Serve the chicken on top of the jambalaya.

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