Tag Archives: andouille

Mardi Gras Jambalaya

I don’t normally celebrate Mardi Gras, unless it’s as an excuse to eat cakes with plastic babies inside.

This year, I attended a dinner party where everyone brought a different Mardi Gras-themed dish. We had “King’s Cake,” dirty rice, gumbo and my shrimp-andouille-chicken jambalaya.

Having never made jambalaya before, I expected it to be more like a thick stew or gumbo. However, it was lighter in color and more of a rice-stew, wonderfully spicy and full of a complexity of flavors that kicked me in the pants. Totally makes up for the fact that it took all day to prepare, created a huge mess and almost made me lose my mind. Honestly, all the searing, then browning, then sweating, then simmering, then skimming, then shredding … it seemed impossible that I could make this ahead and bring it to the party.

But the results, and the amount of leftovers, made it worth everything (and I mean that). Even the green and red bell pepper added a good flavor, but didn’t make me gag (I hate those things). Emeril wrote the recipe well, adding the shrimp just at the end, when you’ve taken it off the heat, so they slowly cook through and are just perfect. You can smell them mixing with the other rich flavors, but it’s not overpowering or fishy.

My only regret is the rice. I played with the portions a bit to fit in my not-gigantic Dutch oven, so the rice didn’t cook perfectly. But that’s more of a texture thing.

I highly recommend making your own “Essence,” I will definitely be using this bold spice mix on other things.

Here it is, adapted from Emeril Lagasse,

Mardi Gras Jambalaya


  • 5-pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs or thighs/legs (he used duck)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, diced
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery hearts
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril’s Original Essence, recipe follows
  • Two 28-oz. cans peeled whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock (or water, if you run out) – just use what fits in your pot
  • 2 c. long-grain white rice (I adjusted, down from 3 c. If you get 2 qt stock in your pot, use the whole 3 c.)
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup


Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 5 minutes. Turn and sear on the second side for 3 minutes. Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add the sausage to the fat in the pot and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes (there will be lots of liquid, just leave it). Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, 1 tablespoon of the Essence, and black pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.

Add the thyme, stock, and chicken (as much as you can fit in your pot – I had to stew my meat in batches). Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 50 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces from the jambalaya and cool slightly. Skim off the fat. Discard skin and bones and shred meat.

Add the rice and bring back up to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Return the chicken meat to the mixture. Season the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon Essence. Add the shrimp to the pot, return to a simmer, and cover. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

Add the green onions and parsley and stir gently. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Adjust the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Serve directly from the pot.

I know you’ll enjoy this, friends! xoxo


Mini frittatas with andouille and spring onion

Whenever I have a brunch, I feel it’s important to bring something with eggs and possibly meat. Mini frittatas are a nice way to make individually portioned eggs pumped up with smoky andouille sausage, tomato, spring onion, parsley and finally melted Jack cheese.

I don’t really have a recipe for these because I just mixed a bunch of stuff in a bowl and then poured it into greased nonstick muffin tins (note: the eggs will cement to the sides if you don’t use nonstick, I even recommend muffin papers to be extra clean).

Multiple people have asked for the recipe, so I give you…

Mini Frittatas with Andouille and Spring Onion

Makes 24 frittatas


  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk or cream
  • 1 c. sliced andouille sausage
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 spring onions or 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 T chopped parsley
  • 1 c. Jack cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin pans.

Whisk eggs with milk in large bowl, set aside.

In medium saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Then add sausage, browning, 3-4 min. Add spring onions and stir until translucent. Add mixture to eggs. Stir in tomatoes and parsley. Season to taste with S&P.

Pour frittata mixture into muffin tins almost to the brim, then top with shredded cheese. Bake until set and the cheese is lightly browned, 20-30 min. Cool 5 min. in pans, then finish cooling on wire rack. Can be made ahead and warmed in the oven before serving.

I sprinkled chopped chives over mine after plating. I promise these will be a big hit!

Enjoy, friends. xoxo

Chicken-andouille gumbo

I’ve been thinking recently about things that get better with time – from men to fine wine, the age element can turn a pretty good thing into a really great thing.

When my friend Merissa sent me this recipe a year ago, she warned not to eat it the day you make it. She said it gets much better the second day. But after smelling it cook for four hours, could you resist? Merissa first made this for a large group a year ago (photo above). I made it for a couple of hungry bellies last weekend.

The recipe takes roughly 4-5 hours, but saying it’s worth it is an understatement. First, you brown 4 lbs. of chicken thighs and two kinds of pork, during which Grant said the house smelled like cracklins (and that’s no complaint!). Then, you stir a dark mahogany roux for 25 minutes (a task made easier with a glass of wine in hand) and add a ton of onion, garlic and celery hearts (I omitted the green bell pepper because I hate it). A dash of spice here and a crunch of pepper there and it will bubble away for the next 2.5-3 hours.

I did not add gumbo file, because I didn’t know it existed until afterward, but of course you can add this classic gumbo flavoring, if you have it.

Served over rice, or with some buttered toast, this is delectable. And that was just the first day. The second day, the sauce is thicker and richer – spicier, more peppery, better seasoned, and just generally more gumbo-looking.

I adapted this to  my liking – feel free to improvise!

Chicken-Andouille Gumbo


  • 4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage
  • 1 lb. smoked ham
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • Heart of a celery cluster – small handful, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (32 -oz.) boxes chicken broth (less sodium)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Hot cooked rice or cornbread
  • Sliced green onions, for topping

1. Cut first 3 ingredients into bite-size pieces. In batches, place meat in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, 20 minutes or until browned. Drain on paper towels. (you really don’t need to if you skim off the fat the next day). Wipe out Dutch oven with paper towels.

2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat, gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 25 minutes or until it is a dark mahogany.

3. Stir in onions, celery and garlic; cook, stirring often, 18 to 20 minutes or until tender. Gradually add broth. Stir in chicken, sausage, ham, thyme, black pepper and paprika.

4. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in parsley . Remove from heat; serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish with green onion.

I can promise you will enjoy this, friends! Especially the day after… xoxo