Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Stews»Creole Cajun»Rice»Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

Most recipes for jambalaya ask a lot from the cook and provide no more than mushy rice, rubbery shrimp, and dry chicken in return. We wanted great jambalaya in one hour.

The Problem

Complicated to make, jambalaya is usually overcooked and underseasoned. The dish is an unappealing mixture of rubbery shrimp, dry chicken, and gummy rice bound in a thin, watery tomato base.

The Goal

When done right, jambalaya is a one-pot meal that can be on the table in about an hour. Jambalaya's combination of sweet, spice, and smoke makes it a standout. We wanted fluffy rice with perfectly cooked and seasoned chicken, shrimp, and sausage. The flavors should be bold and full, with plenty of spice and hints of sweetness.

The Solution

Cook chicken thighs along with the rice to keep them from drying out, and shred the meat once it's cooked. Start building flavor with plenty of garlic, red pepper, celery, and onion, then add andouille sausage and cayenne for some heat. For perfectly cooked shrimp, add them to the pot shortly before serving and cook for just 5 minutes.