Chicken and ham jambalaya

    55 min

    A typical Cajun recipe, this is full of spicy, complex flavours. With lots of rice and vegetables, it is a great dish to make a small amount of meat go a long way, and offers a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrate.

    52 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 300 g (10½ oz) skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets)
    • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning (see note below)
    • 1 tsp dried sage or marjoram
    • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
    • 2 celery sticks, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 400 g (14 oz) basmati rice
    • 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock, preferably home-made
    • 100 g (3½ oz) cooked smoked ham, cubed
    • 1 can Italian cherry tomatoes, or 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
    • Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper
    • To garnish
    • 4–6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
    • coarsely chopped parsley

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Cut the chicken into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes. Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and the sage or marjoram, making sure that the chicken is coated all over. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole or pan over a moderately high heat, add the chicken and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cubes are browned on all sides. Remove from the pan with a draining spoon.
    2. Add the remaining oil to the pan with the onion, green pepper and celery, and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic and rice, and fry for another minute.
    3. Pour in the stock and stir well. Return the chicken to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the ham and canned tomatoes with their juice. Cook, covered, for a further 5–10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
    4. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and a little salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the chopped spring onions and parsley.

    Some more ideas

    If you cannot find ready-made Cajun seasoning, use a mixture of 1½ tsp paprika and ½ tsp cayenne pepper. * Use brown rice instead of white rice. It will take 5–10 minutes longer to cook and may need more liquid. Brown rice retains the nutritious high-fibre bran coating that is removed from white rice. * For a chicken and prawn jambalaya, leave out the smoked ham and add 200 g (7 oz) peeled raw tiger prawns instead. Also add extra vegetables – 100 g (3½ oz) each frozen green beans and frozen peas. Add these 10 minutes before the end of cooking. * Add white wine in place of some of the stock – 150 ml (5 fl oz) will give a good flavour.

    Plus points

    Green pepper provides vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which have strong protective antioxidant functions against cancer, heart disease and stroke. * The antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, becomes even more potent when the tomatoes are processed. Although using a can of tomatoes in this recipe may seem like a short-cut, be assured that your meal is packed with hidden benefits.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of vitamin C. Good source of iron, vitamin B6, vitamin E. Useful source of copper, niacin, potassium, zinc.

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    Reviews in English (9)


    Altered ingredient amounts. You can also add some smoked sausage full an extra flavour.  -  08 Oct 2009


    Altered ingredient amounts. We felt it needed a little more than 2 teaspoon of spices so aded more cayenne and smoked paprika, very nice.  -  06 Feb 2009


    Very tasty and very filling  -  13 Sep 2012