This is a great dish to make on a chilly autumn weekend since it only takes only about 30 minutes to do the prep work, then you can enjoy the rest of your afternoon while your slow cooker fills your house with the aromas of this iconic Creole dish. All you need to add is a green salad and dinner is served. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, cook the shrimp, brown the chicken and sauté the vegetables in a large fry pan, then start using your slow cooker in step 3.
Smoky Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 12 large shrimp, about 10 oz. (315 g) total weight, peeled and deveined
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, each 4 to 6 oz. (125 to 185 g), cut into large pieces
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeño chile, minced
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) long-grain white rice
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 oz. (185 g) smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1. Put the flameproof insert of a slow cooker on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until opaque, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the fat remaining in the insert and cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp until needed. Pour off the fat from the insert.
2. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. fat from the insert and return it to medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker and stir in the chicken, tomatoes, rice, broth and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. The chicken should be opaque throughout, the rice should be tender and the broth should be absorbed.
4. Add the shrimp, ham, paprika, thyme and cayenne to the rice and stir to mix well. Re-cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 30 minutes to warm through. Season with salt and black pepper.
5. Spoon into individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.