A few years actually 7 years back, my mom lived in New Orleans for a short while. I would love to go visit her to be immersed in such great culture and to, of course, savor the food.  From beignets to alligator pizza, I’ve tried it all but nothing hits home with it’s comfort feel like a great gumbo or jambalaya. I had met my husband around the time my mom was in New Orleans and I would frequent his families home for dinners and it just so happens his mother would make delicious jambalaya. The great thing is – when you marry into a family – you typically get the insight on recipes! In this case, I got a whole book from her #winning. I came to learn her jambalaya recipe was the most simple, self created meal ever…

I have cooked this quick and simple meal for so many guests and it has never let me down.  From being a simple one pot dish, you basically set it and forget it while it cooks itself and you can actually enjoy your company. Better yet, the leftovers (if there are any) are just as good!

Chicken & Kielbasa Jambalaya

  • 1 box of spanish rice (I use Near East brand)
  • 2 lbs of rotisserie chicken meat (you can use raw chicken breast and sauté before throwing the dish together as well)
  • 1 kielbasa
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 jar diced tomatoes (you can use cans, but be aware of how the acidity reacts with BPA lines / aluminum cans — glass is best)

I first start by prepping ingredients since everything in this meal gets tossed in at once. I buy a whole rotisserie chicken or use leftovers from one for this meal. There is plenty of meat plus more, so you’ll get more than one meal out of it! The picture shown is all the meat off the chicken and I only use about two breasts worth, you can do all white, all dark or a mix of both. If you do no have a rotisserie chicken, you can buy two chicken breasts, dice up the meat and saute until cooked through before completing the rest of the steps.

Start the rice as the box indicates and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add in meat, jar of diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed kidney beans and bring back to a boil.  Cover and set on low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through and has soaked up all the liquid.

Serve in a bowl and top with peas, avocado or even cheese – whatever your taste buds (or children) are calling for. And viola – you have a simple, delectable meal on the table.


-Essentially a Mom

Jambalaya cover