Creole Jambalaya from Brennan’s New Orleans [recipe] – Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook Winner

Creole Jambalaya from Brennan's New Orleans

And another winner! Antonette, please drop us a line with your mailing address, since you’re the lucky recipient of the enormous Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook! Everyone else, thanks so much for playing along with us! We still have winners to pick, so stay tuned!

We gave the cookbook away, but not before we snagged what we think might be the second most important recipe in Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook: Creole Jambalaya (the first being the recipe for Bread Pudding, but given our New Year’s resolutions, we didn’t want to forgive our own temptations).

We’ve always loved jambalaya for its deep, spicy deliciousness, but we just don’t make it that often at home. We’re not sure why since it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and very forgiving with its flavors. Perhaps the most difficult thing about this recipe is sourcing Andouille sausage and pickled pork, both of which are easily substitutable.

Brennan’s Creole Jambalaya

from Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

For 6 servings


1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or 2 tablespoons if pork and sausage are very lean)
4 ounces Andouille sausage*, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
4 ounces picked pork** or ham, cut into ¼ cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
2 cans (10 oz size) crushed plum tomatoes
¼ cup canned tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole bay leaf
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
¼ teaspoon dry thyme leaves
4 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon Louisiana pepper sauce
2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled

* smoked or Polish sausage (kielbasa) can be substituted for Andouille
** pickled pork…any good-quality ham may be used instead


Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a heavy, non-reactive 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven.

Add the sausage and pickled pork or ham and cook until all of the fat is rendered out of the meats, about five minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the yellow onions, the white part of the green onions and the sweet peppers, Cook the vegetables until they are clear, about five minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping the pan bottom clean.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, bay leaf, table salt, black pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Cook and stir this base sauce about two minutes. (If the dish is being prepared ahead, allow the base sauce to cool, then place in a lidded non-reactive container and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. For the final preparation heat the base to a boil and proceed with the remainder of the recipe.)

Add the chicken stock and pepper sauce to the base and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer, and simmer the liquid uncovered until it is reduced by one third, about one hour 15 minutes. Skim and foam or coagulates as they develop on the surface.

Return the liquid to a boil and stir in the rice.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered until the rice is just short of being done (it should still look a little firm in the center), about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp and cook until the rice is tender and the shrimp turn bright pink, about three minutes. Do not overcook.

Stir in the green part of the green onions.

Notes for Making Ahead:

This recipe can be prepared up to two days ahead by completing steps 1 through 4, allowing the base sauce to cool a bit, then covering and storing it in the refrigerator. When it’s time to finish the preparation, bring the base sauce toa boil and proceed to step 5.

by Sarah J. Gim on January 12, 2011 · 13 comments

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Carey January 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

I really want to try this; it sounds delicious. One question – 4 *quarts* of chicken broth? Is that right? It sounds like an awful lot.



Stan Reeves November 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

4 cups is ok,you may even need to add another cup, I did because I added extra rice and sausage.(just couldn’t leave it ). Dish turned out spectacular,wasn’t enough left for me a second helping,they loved it. Great dish for gatherings.

TasteSpotting January 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

carey – now that we think about it, it sure *does* sound like a lot! four quarts is a gallon! but that’s exactly what the recipe says… we’re thinking that it’ll reduce down quite a bit after an hour+ of cooking…which means a LOT of flavor concentration from the stock!

let us know how yours turns out!


rachael February 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

i only have 2 quarts of stock, can i still make this work?

Carey January 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

Will do, and thanks for the quick response!


Diane February 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

Was just looking at this recipe. You have “pickled” pork in one spot. Pretty sure you mean “picked” – thanks.


7th ward March 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm

It’s “pickled pork”. In New Orleans we call it “pickled meat” but I never used it in jambalaya before, it’s really good in greens though.


Peter December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

After cooking the sausage and the picked pork for five minutes, do you remove them or do you continue to cook them with the yellow onions, the white part of the green onions and the sweet peppers?


John March 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

Picked Pork LOL!!Your funny….

Beki Thomson February 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

There seem to be some important questions. I’d love to know if anyone has actually tested this.


Judith February 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

We are trying it today. We’ll respond back either later today or tomorrow with our take on the recipe. Personally I’m skeptical about the stock/rice ratio, but you never know.


Melissa March 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Has anyone cut out the rice and just serve with noodles? Would that work or would it be too runny?


Alice June 14, 2013 at 8:25 am

So what is the verdict, Judith or ANYONE who has made this recipe??


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