10 how do you make jambalaya not mushy Ideas

Below is information and knowledge on the topic how do you make jambalaya not mushy gather and compiled by the monanngon.net team. Along with other related topics like: How to make jambalaya rice not sticky, Do you cook rice before adding to jambalaya, How to cook Zatarain’s Jambalaya in the oven, Creole jambalaya, Oven baked Jambalaya, Jambalaya sauce, Creole jambalaya recipe, Creole Jambalaya recipe easy.

yle Red Jambalaya With Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Recipe

Why It Works

  • Carefully measuring tomato liquid and the right amount of chicken stock to top it up ensures the correct ratio of liquid to rice.
  • Baking the dish in the oven prevents the rice from scorching and eliminates the need to stir midway through cooking.
  • Stirring in the shrimp and scallions at the end keeps them from overcooking.
Vicky Wasik

My first trip ever to Louisiana was exactly what it should have been: a debauchery of food and drink. I’d flown into New Orleans late one night with my best friend, and within an hour of landing, we were tucking into platters piled with oysters. The next morning, we got up and headed to breakfast at Mother’s before driving to our ultimate destination—a friend’s house in Lafayette, where her family was boiling up 400 pounds of crawfish for lunch. That breakfast, though.

We ate as if we were never going to eat again; the fact that we were mere hours from consuming our body weight in crawfish was immaterial. The highlight of that breakfast, for me, was a bowl of jambalaya covered in a flood of debris. “Debris,” I learned giddily, was the rendered fat, meat shreds, and drippings from a roast beef. That jambalaya was the best I’d ever had up to that point.

I’ve eaten a lot of jambalaya since, in New Orleans and elsewhere, yet I still haven’t tasted it in half its forms. I’ve been poring over cookbooks and recipes for the past few weeks, and the variety I’ve found within the broad category of jambalaya is impressive. It always contains rice; some mixture of aromatics, like onion and celery; and some kind of meat and/or seafood. (At least, every version I’ve seen has meat or seafood, but there are enough renditions out there that I’m sure you can find a few vegetarian ones.)

Many accounts of the history of jambalaya point to paella, which was brought by Spanish immigrants to New Orleans in the early 18th century, as its ancestor. New Orleans is without question a singular amalgam of global influences—African, Caribbean, Native American, French, and more—so the role of paella can’t be ruled out, but that explanation prioritizes European influence while overlooking a much likelier primary ancestor: jollof rice from West Africa. The similarities between jambalaya and jollof rice, which is also cooked in a pot with a flavorful reddish base of tomatoes and peppers, are much more striking than those with paella. Add to that the profound influence of African cooking on Southern American food, and jollof is the much stronger explanation. Then again, Spain has its own close historic ties to North and West Africa, so perhaps the threads crisscross over distance and time in more complex and interesting ways.

Two main categories of jambalaya exist: Creole (or red) jambalaya, which is associated with the city of New Orleans and contains tomato, and Cajun (or brown) jambalaya, which contains no tomato and is more common in other parts of Louisiana. The recipe I’m focusing on here is the former, with tomato.

The “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking: onion, green bell pepper, and celery.

Beyond those two categories, though, it gets more difficult to pin down specifics. Meats often include pork (ham or sausage), chicken, shrimp, and crawfish, but oysters, turtle, duck, alligator, and more can also find their way into the jambalaya pot. Many recipes call for the “holy trinity”—Cajun cooking’s signature aromatic mixture of onion, green bell pepper, and celery—but I’ve found examples that omit or alter some part of it.

Leah Chase, the proprietor and chef of Dooky Chase, for instance, doesn’t call for celery in her Creole jambalaya recipe from The Dooky Chase Cookbook; the chef John Folse, meanwhile, swaps out the more common green bell pepper for a sweeter red one in some of his recipes. Scallions, while not a classic part of the trinity, seem to be a more consistent jambalaya ingredient.

For my own Creole version, I decided to stick with some of the most common choices: a mixture of chicken, smoked andouille sausage, and shrimp, along with the trinity in its most typical form. My main task, as usual, was to drill down on the details.

Let’s start with building flavor.

The Flavor Factor, or Why You Shouldn’t Just Dump Everything in the Pot at Once

One of the features I’ve seen most often in recipes and videos for making jambalaya involves dumping a whole bunch of ingredients into the pot at once—the meat, the seafood, the aromatics, et cetera—sautéing them for a bit, and then adding the liquid and rice. What that is, really, is a recipe for insipid food.

There are two things wrong with that approach. First, you’re unlikely to get sufficient browning, and browning is the result of the Maillard reaction, and the Maillard reaction is flavor. Second, you’re gonna overcook your seafood like that. Shrimp need only a few minutes to cook through, not a several-minute sautéing step followed by a 40-minute rice-cooking step followed by a 15-minute resting step. I mean, if you want shrimp mush, sure, but otherwise…not a good idea.

So what’s a better way to do it?

A better way is to brown in batches, building flavor as we go. For my recipe, I start with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I picked thighs and not breasts because thighs are fattier than lean white meat, meaning they’ll remain tender and plump even with extended cooking. I brown those thighs in a tablespoon of oil, which is step one in building flavor.

I take the thighs out of the pan and set them aside—they’ll get diced up and tossed back into the pot a little later. Next, I move on to step two of flavor-building: adding sliced rounds of sausage and browning them, too. That sausage can be andouille, a smoked Cajun pork sausage, or chaurice, a spiced Creole pork sausage, or something similar.

At this point, you’ll likely have a bit of fond building up—that’s the browned stuff stuck to the bottom of your pot. This is a good thing as long as you don’t allow it to scorch, because fond is flavor. The key to building good fond while not letting it scorch, aside from controlling your heat as necessary, is to knock it back from time to time with liquid.

That liquid could be a splash of water, which will wash free all the fond stuck to the surface of the vessel, then evaporate, allowing you to let the fond build up again. Or you can do what I do here and add the aromatic vegetables. As soon as they heat up, they’ll release quite a bit of their own liquid, which you can use to scrape up whatever fond is coating the pot.

Just check out the photos above and below: Right up until I added the vegetables, my Dutch oven was crusted in dark brown fond, threatening to burn. Then in went the vegetables, and voilà—a clean pot all over again, with all that wonderful fond flavor mixed in.

Next, I let all of that cook together until the vegetables begin to soften and turn golden, which is, once again, more flavor (what step are we up to here?). One small note: Adding water at any point can help keep the contents of your pot from burning, but so can adding oil. If you notice your pan has gone dry, it’s a good idea to hit it with a couple tablespoons more oil to lubricate things well; that’s usually more than enough to do the trick.

The final step for building flavor is adding…flavorings. In my recipe, I start by stirring in some tomato paste, which adds a deep, sweet, concentrated tomato flavor, then round it out with thyme, oregano, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, hot sauce, and plenty of black pepper. We want this jambalaya to have some kick, don’t we?

Only later on, once the rice is cooked and the dish is nearly done, do I mix in the shrimp and scallions, letting them cook just enough. That’s how we build flavor, while still treating each ingredient with respect. The jambalaya develops layers and layers of depth and intensity, the shrimp don’t get hammered, the scallions retain a trace of freshness, and we all win.

The Rice-to-Riches Ratio

Next up is the good old question of ratios. Rice can be tricky, but as a rule of thumb, using twice as much liquid as rice by volume will more or less put you in the ballpark.

Fortunately, when it comes to jambalaya, the ballpark is about as close as we need to get—unlike some rice dishes, in which you’re aiming for perfectly cooked grains that are still dry enough to not stick together at all, jambalaya can be a little bit moister. Fluffy individual grains are not a requirement here. So all we have to do is ensure that all the rice is cooked through, yet doesn’t come out wet and mushy. As it turns out, a 2:1 ratio by volume of liquid to rice seems to be the sweet spot.

The main thing we need to account for in this recipe is the tomatoes, which introduce a lot of liquid on their own. My solution is as follows: Start with a can of peeled whole tomatoes packed in their juice (not packed in purée—the can should say which it is in the ingredients list), and separate the tomatoes from the juice. Then break each tomato with your hand, releasing the juices hidden within the seed chambers. Add those liquids to the strained juices.

What you should have now is the tomato flesh in one bowl and the juices in another. All you need to do is add enough chicken stock to the tomato juices to give you twice the volume of the rice.

In my recipe, I call for two cups of long-grain rice. That means you need a total of four cups of liquid—whatever you get from the tomatoes, plus however much chicken stock you need to make up the difference. Using this method, you’ll have the right amount of liquid each time, no guessing necessary.

In case it’s not clear, the reason I’m using canned whole tomatoes is threefold. First, they tend to be better-quality than crushed or puréed. Second, canned whole tomatoes tend not to have the firming agents that crushed tomatoes do—those firming agents can prevent the tomatoes from softening as they cook, so that they never fully melt into the dish. And third, because it’s easier to separate the flesh of whole tomatoes from their juices than it is to separate crushed or puréed tomatoes from them.

Once you’ve correctly measured out your liquids, you can add them to the pot along with the diced chicken thighs, the crushed tomato flesh, and the rice. Season it well with salt at this point (and taste the liquid to confirm), since this is your best bet for getting an even and thorough salt distribution, as opposed to trying to stir the salt in later. Now you’re ready to get cooking.

The Stirring Conundrum, Solved

Here’s the final challenge of jambalaya: If you don’t stir it at all, you’re likely to end up with a layer of blackened, burnt crud on the bottom of the pot by the time it’s done. Stir it too much, and the rice will break and dissolve into a starchy mush. I’ve come across whole articles online explaining the proper way to turn a jambalaya to prevent the bottom from scorching while also not gumming up the rest of it. It’s nuts.

What to do? Well, easy—put it in the oven. Unlike the direct heat of a flame under the pot, which is what most recipes I’ve seen call for, the hot air of an oven is gentle enough to guarantee you won’t burn your rice.

As soon as I switched from a stovetop method to an oven method, all my jambalaya-cooking woes went away. You literally don’t need to stir it once. Well, at least, not until it’s done, at which point you’ll want to gently stir in the shrimp and scallions. What’s even better is that you still get some awesome surface browning as it cooks in the oven, so the flavor development doesn’t fall short.

Once the shrimp go in, cook it a few more minutes, until they’re done, then let the jambalaya rest for 15 minutes or so before serving.

It’s hard to remember in perfect detail that first real-deal jambalaya I ate at Mother’s nearly 20 years ago—it’s been a while. But, having eaten so many jambalayas since, I know for a fact that this one here is a true contender. If only I could get my hands on some debris…

March 2017

The essay preceding the recipe has been edited and updated by the author to correct the record by acknowledging West African jollof rice’s critical influence on jambalaya. Several of the sources originally consulted during the research phase of this recipe’s development gave disproportionate credit to Spanish paella as the precursor to jambalaya while ignoring jollof rice’s central role in its history.

  • 1 (28-ounce; 795g) can peeled whole tomatoes, packed in juice (see notes)

  • About 3 cups (720ml) homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought broth, plus more as needed

  • 1 1/4 pounds (565g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil, plus more if needed

  • 3/4 pound (340g) cooked Cajun or Creole sausage, such as andouille or chaurice (or other similar smoked or spiced pork sausage), sliced into thin rounds

  • 1 medium yellow onion (8 ounces; 225g), diced

  • 2 medium green bell peppers (10 ounces total; 280g), stemmed, seeded, and diced

  • 4 celery ribs (6 ounces total; 170g), diced

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Louisiana-style hot sauce, plus more for serving

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cups long-grain rice (12 ounces; 370g)

  • 3/4 pound (340g) peeled and deveined shrimp

  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

  1. Strain tomatoes and add juice to a 4-cup measuring cup. Place tomatoes in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, carefully tear each tomato open to release the liquid inside its seed compartments. Strain all this liquid into measuring cup. Crush tomatoes well with your hands. Add enough chicken stock to tomato juices to total 4 cups (960ml). Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken and cook, turning, until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, add sausage to Dutch oven and cook, stirring often, until just starting to darken, about 3 minutes; lower heat and/or add oil at any point to prevent burning. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring and scraping bottom of Dutch oven, until browned bits have come loose and vegetables just begin to turn lightly golden, about 8 minutes.

  4. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add hot sauce, thyme, oregano, cayenne, garlic powder, and a very generous dose of black pepper. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato/stock mixture, diced chicken, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, tasting liquid to ensure it is well seasoned.

  5. Stir in rice and return to a simmer. Cover with lid and transfer to oven. Bake until liquid is fully absorbed and rice is tender, about 40 minutes.

  6. Gently stir in shrimp and scallions and return to oven until shrimp are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Cover pot and let rest 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves, if desired (see notes).

  7. Serve, passing hot sauce at the table for diners to add to taste.

Special Equipment

Dutch oven


You’ll need the juice from the tomatoes to function as a portion of the rice-cooking liquid, so be sure to check the ingredients and get canned peeled whole tomatoes packed in juice, not in purée.

Typically, the bay leaves in this recipe would be removed after the 15-minute rest following cooking. However, since over-stirring the jambalaya can cause the rice to break, I don’t recommend digging through the rice to find the leaves. Just remove them if you see them, and otherwise be careful to avoid them while eating.

Extra Information About how do you make jambalaya not mushy That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

Creole-Style Red Jambalaya With Chicken, Sausage, and …

Creole-Style Red Jambalaya With Chicken, Sausage, and ...

  • Author: seriouseats.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (390221 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: Red Creole jambalaya is a New Orleans classic, loaded with meats, seafood, and tomatoes. A trip to the oven guarantees you don’t end up with a burnt layer of rice on the bottom of your pot.

  • Matching Result: Pour the whisked, blended tomato juice and cornstarch into the pot of simmering jambalaya. Stir thoroughly with a large wooden or plastic spoon to disperse the …

  • Intro: Creole-Style Red Jambalaya With Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Recipe Why It Works Carefully measuring tomato liquid and the right amount of chicken stock to top it up ensures the correct ratio of liquid to rice.Baking the dish in the oven prevents the rice from scorching and eliminates the need to…
  • Source: https://www.seriouseats.com/creole-style-red-jambalaya-chicken-sausage-shrimp-recipe

Desperately seeking solution to mushy sticky rice … – Food52

Desperately seeking solution to mushy sticky rice ... - Food52

  • Author: food52.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (390221 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: I’ve tried everything that I’ve read on how to get the rice properly flavorful but distinct firm grains in dishes like Jambalaya, Paella…

  • Matching Result: There is no need to wash your rice when making jambalaya. The extra starch will help thicken the dish. Long grain rice is used because it …

  • Intro: Desperately seeking solution to mushy sticky rice in Jambalaya, Paella, Peas and Rice 7 Comments Use a flame tamer to get the lowest possible and well distributed heat source. Always rinse and soak your rice, always. Talc, impurities and excess starches are found within most raw rice products. Rinse your…
  • Source: https://food52.com/hotline/13739-desperately-seeking-solution-to-mushy-sticky-rice-in-jambalaya-paella-peas-and-rice

Frequently Asked Questions About how do you make jambalaya not mushy

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how do you make jambalaya not mushy, then this section may help you solve it.

Is soup the proper texture for jambalaya?

According to reliable sources, a cajun jambalaya shouldn’t have the soupier, wetter texture of those creole versions made with tomatoes. Instead, Oliver advises chefs to aim for a “porridgey” consistency.

How come my jambalaya is gummy?

I use long grain rice; to me it just works better than short grain. In a black iron pot add a little oil and sauté the onions. Kick up the heat a little and get them to brown some. If the dish comes out too sticky, the rice was overcooked.

To jambalaya, do you add cooked or uncooked rice?

Give everything a good stir, then add the uncooked rice, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, Cajun/Creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaf. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring the mixture about every 5 minutes (to prevent burning), or until the rice is almost tender.

Does the meat have to be cooked first when making jambalaya?

Briefly stated, you brown the meat, sauté the vegetables, add the rice, add the liquid, bring to a boil, stir, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

How can I make jambalaya thicker?

Brown the sausage on both sides, remove, and set aside. Next, make a roux by heating some oil in the pan and stirring in flour until bubbly and browned. Add remaining ingredients, except shrimp. An authentic jambalaya recipe requires using a dark roux to thicken the liquid.

How can the liquid in jambalaya be removed?

Give the mixture a gentle stir, cover once more, turn the heat off, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. If the rice is still too wet, remove the lid so the excess liquid can evaporate; if the rice is a little dry, leave the lid on a little longer to give the rice more time to absorb the liquid.

When jambalaya is boiling, do you stir it?

Most cooks turn jambalaya only two or three times after the rice is added, being careful to scoop from the bottom of the pot to mix rice with other ingredients evenly. Jambalaya should never be stirred after the rice has been added; it should always be turned to prevent the rice grains from breaking up.

How much liquid should be added to the rice in jambalaya?

Don’t stir your jambalaya too much once the rice is in the Dutch oven, and make sure to use a 2:1 ratio of liquid (stock and tomato juice) to dry rice.

How can mushy rice in jambalaya be fixed?

If your rice is just a little overcooked and isn’t too starchy, try draining and rinsing the rice, then heat it on the stovetop to cook off some of the moisture. Reheating may dry out the rice enough to yield the texture you want. Drain and try the stovetop again.

What is the jambalaya trinity?

4. The holy trinity: The green or red bell pepper, celery, and onion (and occasionally garlic cloves) make up the Cajun holy trinity, a flavor base akin to the Spanish sofrito and the French mirepoix.

Does jambalaya contain tomatoes?

A tomato-based rice dish called Creole Jambalaya takes less than an hour to prepare but tastes like it has been cooking all day. It is so flavorful that eating it is like traveling to New Orleans without leaving the house.

Why is the mush in my jambalaya?

Why is my Jambalaya rice mushy? Overcooking rice can also result in mushy rice if it is stirred too much, which can release starch and make the rice mushy.

How can mushy rice be made firmer?

If the rice is still watery or soggy, you can cook off the extra water in the oven after baking the rice for 5 minutes. After draining the rice, pour a light stream of cool water over the sieve or colander. Gently unstick the rice grains with your fingers.

What causes my rice to become mushy?

Overcooking rice results in the rice grains absorbing too much water, the grain splitting open, and the result is mushy or wet rice, which has a starchy, gummy texture.

If rice is rinsed, does it become less mushy?

You can rinse your rice in a bowl or a strainer; the method isn’t as important as the fact that you do it. Rinsing the rice removes any debris and, more importantly, it removes the surface starch that would otherwise cause the rice to clump together or become gummy as it cooks.

Part of the YouTube video How to Fix Mushy Rice, Wet Rice, and Salty Rice

Iframe with the src of “https://www.youtube.com/embed/xYOsr5twz1E”

Share this post