I’ve pretty much been called the Master of Red Beans and Rice. But, I prefer the title “Red Bean Queen”. Or maybe, “The Sensei”! Anyway, I love making some dang on red beans! I’ve worked hard at perfecting the taste and texture in different cooking methods. There’s the stovetop version and the pressure cooker one. But, I was missing the slow cooker method. Not anymore!
It’s a dump and go slow cooker meal. Don’t we love those? I brown the sausage. Then, saute the veggies, the Trinity, in those yummy and flavorful sausage drippings. After that’s done, you just dump it all into the slow cooker along with quick soaked, red beans.
There are countless slow cooker jambalaya recipes across our wonderful, worldwide web. To my dismay, none of them resembled the Jambalaya I’m used to. You know I had to change that! Growing up in Southern Louisiana, I’ve had my share of bowls of the best Jambalaya! The Jambalaya I’m accustomed to isn’t red. It’s more brown based. Instead of a soup being served over rice like Gumbo, our version is comprised of rice. It’s spicy goodness and I have to show to how it’s done in my neck of the woods!
All in the Seasoning
The heart of this recipe is the spiced broth! I like to start by blooming spices in chicken broth. I pour the broth in the bottom of my Crock-Pot, then pile on the spices! I do this because I do not season the actual chicken pieces. I solely rely on the broth to flavor the chicken. Works like a charm!
Release the Grease
Since we’re using a slow cooker, it’s impossible to achieve those nice crisp edges on our sausage coins. We have to brown them a bit before adding them in. You can do this by sautéing them on the stove. Or, popping them in the oven for a few minutes. I choose the oven. This will also reduce the amount of added grease in our dish from the sausages.
Ditch the Fork
Down here, we shred the chicken after it’s cooked. An easy way to do this is to dump the chicken into a stand mixer and let it rip! 30 seconds of mixing will yield perfectly shredded bird. No more forks!
Parboiled Rice is the Trick
Parboiled rice…I’ll give my beginner cooks a chance to google it. Got it? Cool. This is what I like to call “Jambalaya Rice”. The worst kind of situation is to have gummy rice in this dish. It’s not the business! Parboiled rice is also great to use in any slow cooker recipes containing rice. It’s cooks beautifully in Crock-Pots.
Don’t Forget the Shrimp
I totally did this initially. Prepared the dish and became so excited with the outcome that I forgot to incorporate the shrimp! It’s really perfect without the shrimp for those with allergies. You won’t miss it. But, my seafood lovers should definitely add in the shrimp! Now, this is good ole Southeast, Louisiana Jambalaya!
The absolute best Cajun style Jambalaya recipe. Patterned after the traditional Jambalaya served in southern Louisiana, the recipe is flavorful and filling. Loads of chicken, sausage, shrimp, and rice. This is a full meal all in one.
6bonelessskinless chicken thighs
1lblarge peeledraw shrimp
1bell pepperfinely diced
2celery stalksfinely diced
2-3TBSCajun or Creole seasoning
Fresh parsley to garnish
Nonstick cooking spray
Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray
Pour in the chicken broth
Add in the Cajun seasoning, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Stir in the garlic and tomato paste
Add the chicken thighs
Add in the onion, bell pepper, celery, and smoked sausage
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or on LOW for 4-5 hours.
Remove the chicken and shred it.
Return the chicken back into the slow cooker
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Stir in the rice
Cover and continue cooking on HIGH for 1 hour or on LOW for 2 hours.
Stir in the shrimp.
Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes on HIGH or until the shrimp are fully cooked
Stir and fluff.
Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley
*To brown the sausage, place it into a shallow pan and bake on 375°F for 10 minutes.
**Using long grain white rice will alter the timing and texture. Parboiled rice is recommended for this dish.
My Cookies know that the most important element of any and every recipe to me is flavor. And I wholeheartedly believe in building flavors. You never want to rely on one aspect of a dish for flavor. It’s best to add and build it with each component. This is especially true when slow cooking. It provides the perfect scenario to layer on the taste! And my Cajun style smothered potatoes does not slack in taste.
I love russet potatoes in this recipe. However, any will do. Skin on or off? Totally up to you. Use the sausage of your choice as well. You always have the option of browning the sausage before adding them into the crockpot. I opted not to. I just add them in first, and add the other ingredients on top. Doing so will allow all of the grease and flavor from the sausage to meld with the broth and liquid shrimp and crab boil concentrate. And when you mix it all together in the end….whoa! Yeah. Flavors unite!
Cajun or Creole Seasoning? Doesn’t matter.
I keep the seasoning super simple. The Cajun or Creole seasoning and the shrimp and crab boil does all of the work! Just make sure you evenly distribute the seasonings while sprinkling them on top. Also, we don’t need much liquid at all. I add a splash just to keep the potatoes from sticking. It helps move the cooking process along as well.
Save the Best for Last
Allow the shrimp to chill in the fridge until the potatoes are fully cooked. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp. I give them a good 10-20 minutes to cook in the slow cooker. This is just the right amount of time for the shrimp to cook completely and soak up all of those spices. No need to season the shrimp. There’s plenty of seasoning in the crockpot to cover them.
This is basically a complete meal on its own. I add a green salad and call it dinner! Garnish with some chopped, green onions for freshness and it’s time to eat!
Cookies, our month of slow cooking is coming to a close. Don’t frown! We’ll still break out the crock pot more than we did last year! But, we’re closing with a bang. Easy, bbq meatballs! Down here, everyone refers to them as “Swedish meatballs”. This has annoyed me forever! Swedish meatballs are a totally different animal. Well, recipe. See…
Easy, right? Told ya! And you can half, double, or triple this recipe to meet your needs. I’ll share my BBQ recipe with you at a later date. For now, use your favorite store bought bottle.
I HATE using the precooked meatballs in the bag. I have trust issues, so I season, roll, and cook my own. But, hey, if you’re in to that bag, buy the bag! Sometime about that texture I just don’t enjoy.
Thanks for hanging with me this month! I appreciate all of the slow cooking recipe requests. Keep em coming!
I’m over here excited! Just jubilant ya hear me?! Why you ask? Well, for one, I’m posting a second recipe this week! You guys know I’m NEVER this productive. And, most importantly, I’m beyond myself, because this chicken just blessed my soul! My WHOLE soul! Chile, you know I love a good sauce! But, Honey, this sauce right here?! Mannnnn….just try it!
I’m LOVING this slow cooking month! I hope you guys are finding these recipes helpful. This one has to be my new favorite. The sweet and tangy chicken will literally fall apart if you breathe on it. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it’s just good. lol
You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs and add some red pepper flakes for a little heat. Have it your way! But, definitely give it a try!