I’ve partnered with SocialStars and Johnsonville to create this Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. This classic Cajun dish is perfect for a weeknight meal! #SausageFamily
It’s festival season again in Louisiana! Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always festival season in Louisiana. A while back, I mentioned the Rayne Frog Festival and the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Fest…and it’s worth revisiting the topic of Louisiana festivals. I mean September alone has dozens of festivals…and that doesn’t even count the return of college football! (During LSU home games, Tiger Stadium technically becomes the 5th-largest city in Louisiana…4th if you count all of the folks tailgating outside who never actually go into the game.)
But back to September festivals…and there are some great ones! For starters, there’s the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival over Labor Day weekend. Because I always think of petroleum when I think of shrimp. (Just kidding…the festival in Morgan City, LA honors local fishermen as well as petroleum workers. Seafood and petroleum both rank at the top of the list for local revenue. So the festival makes sense…well, sorta.)
If seafood and oil aren’t your thing, then you can always hit the New Orleans Seafood Festival or the Louisiana Soul Food Festival. And then there’s the Louisiana Sugarcane Festival over in New Iberia. (My grandfather worked in the oil fields near New Iberia for several years…so the area has always held a bit of family history for me.) In addition to the judging of the sugar cane and plenty of delicious Louisiana food, the Sugarcane Festival features the Sugar Parade complete with Queen Sugar and King Sucrose. (Louisiana is one of only 4 states in the US where sugarcane is grown commercially.)
The Jesse James Outlaw Roundup Festival is another September fixture, and it celebrates the days when Jesse James reportedly lived in northeastern Louisiana. In fact, local legend holds that much of James’ treasure is buried near the town of Epps, LA. A couple of years ago, my Dad convinced me that my great-grandmother had dated Jesse James before he became an infamous outlaw. It was all a lie. But I still like to think that there could be a tiny shred of truth to that story! Plus, the Jesse James Outlaw Roundup Festival includes mock old Western style shoot-outs between outlaws and lawmen. Sounds like a great festival to me!
I can’t talk about Louisiana without jumping over to delicious Cajun food at some point. This is a food blog after all! Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is a classic Cajun dish with both Spanish and French roots. At its core, jambalaya is essentially meat, veggies and rice. There are plenty of different styles of jambalaya out there, but this Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya version is a classic. I got this recipe from a coworker back when I lived in Louisiana, and it’s one of our favorite meals to make!
Like many Cajun favorites, jambalaya starts out with the holy trinity of Cajun cooking: onions, celery and green bell peppers. Add in some diced chicken and smoked sausage, and you’ve got the beginning of one delicious meal! As I’ve mentioned before, we always keep our freezer stocked with andouille sausage. Andouille is a style of smoked sausage that is common in many Louisiana recipes, and it’s definitely one of the stars of the show in this Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya.
Fortunately, Johnsonville makes a great andouille that is readily available in our local grocery stores up here in New York. There are no fillers in the sausage, and it’s got a great hardwood-smoked flavor…just like I like it! Johnsonville’s andouille also comes as 2 individually-wrapped links. I find this super convenient for storing the sausage in the freezer and just using however many links I need in the recipe. (If you can’t find andouille in your store, then just substitute in Johnsonville’s smoked sausage instead. It’s equally as tasty!)
Bonus: this Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is cooked in a single skillet…making it perfect for a weeknight dinner! I actually prepped all of the ingredients early and then cooked it after picking Robbie up from daycare. The rice was almost done cooking as Laura walked in the door…perfect timing! In theory, we could have had a hot dinner right then…but a certain someone wanted his mashed peas and oats. I’m not naming any names on who that was.
I typically like to keep the posts here on Spiced fun and light-hearted. However, please keep the folks in Louisiana in your thoughts and prayers. I saw the damage from Hurricaned Katrina and Rita first-hand, and my friends in Louisiana tell me that the recent flooding down there rivals the damage caused by those storms.