As we count down the days until the ESSENCE Festival 2015®, we are joining our friends at Coca-Cola to celebrate the tastes of New Orleans (NOLA)!
And there is no taste of NOLA without jambalaya.
A melting pot of Native American, European and African cultures yielded a most delicious stew: jambalaya.
The original recipe, born in Louisiana at a time before cookbooks and printed recipes, required rice, vegetables, leftover meats and seafood.
Jambalaya became a staple dish for everyday folks to enjoy at celebrations and as everyday meals.
And why not? Jambalaya is delicious, and depending on the size of the pot, can economically feed a small family or a large family gathering.
But don’t get it twisted–no two jambalayas are the same. There is Cajun jambalaya and Creole jambalaya, and both recipes are made with culinary creativity.
Creole Jambalaya vs. Cajun Jambalaya
Creole jambalaya is reddish in color because the recipe calls for robust red tomatoes. Cajun jambalaya is brownish in color because the recipe calls for browned meat (shrimp, duck, turtle, alligator, oyster, you name it), and skips the tomatoes. Both jambalaya recipes include seasoning the meat with a tasty trifecta of onions, celery and bell peppers.
Once a staple dish for hungry folks looking to do more with leftovers, jambalaya is now enjoyed by foodies from all walks of life.
Whether you prefer the Creole or Cajun recipe, there’s one universal rule of making jambalaya: cook it and serve it with love.
RECIPE: Coca-Cola Jambalaya
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 12 oz chicken apple sausage, cut in to 1/4 inch slices
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut in to small pieces
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup Coca-Cola
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 bay leaf
Combine celery, onion and chicken apple sausage in a large skillet, over medium heat and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper, cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add parsley, oregano, thyme, and paprika, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add Cooca-Cola, diced tomatoes with juice, chicken, bay leaf. Increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fully cooked.
Serve over rice if desired.
Serving Size: 4 – 1 cup servings
Number of Servings: 4