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Best Jambalaya Recipe w/ Creole Sauce & Pirate Lore

Ahoy, Maties.

Here be a brief history of the last of the great Pirates of the Gulf of Mexico and an excellent recipe from the Cajun Creole Cuisine of his adopted territory, New Orleans and Cajun Country (Acadiana) in Southwest Louisiana. You might enjoy serving this smoky, spicy Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille Jambalaya smothered in a tasty tomato-based Creole Sauce. This is another ideal Pirate Party Food Recipe.

I use organic, non-GMO, no nitrate, mercury-free, low sodium/no salt, very clean ingredients. Excellent for making healthy comfort food.

Jean Lafitte Pirate – The End of an Era

Jean Lafitte Pirate or Privateer? If you called him a Pirate he’d challenge you to a duel.

So, what’s the difference? Pirates rob and commit acts of violence at sea. A Privateer had a commission from a sponsor, think government, to go out and be a Pirate to their ‘enemies.’ They could Captain their own ship or even sail with a Pirate Captain. Usually only the Privateer Captain was commissioned while the crew was compensated by receiving a split of the captured booty. Pirates did the same, however they were in it for themselves. So, a Privateer was Pirate.

Jean Lafitte (approx. 1780-1825) is remembered as one of the last of the great Pirates of the Gulf of Mexico. He settled in New Orleans by 1803, right when Napolean sold

Jean Lafitte Pirate or Privateer? The last great Pirate in the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana to the US.

Even though he was a gangster, Lafitte moved freely through the town, dressed fine, and dined at all the excellent restaurants… he was tall, handsome, a gentleman of means, manners, and grace.

He and his brothers, Pierre and Henri, enjoyed a lucrative business of selling their purloined goods out of their warehouse on Royal Street in the French Quarter. They also built a fort and barracks for their slave trade on Grand Terre Island in the Barataria Bay where 500 people lived in his community.

He was a Privateer with their four ships flying the flag of the city-state of Cartagena, which later joined Columbia (rather than sailing under a Pirate Jolly Roger).

In 1814, the US government, not as lenient as the French and Spanish, arrested his brother, confiscated all his booty (estimated to be $500,000), and leveled his fort and dispersed his community. Lafitte was a patriot, though, and saved Louisiana by helping the US government defeat the British in the Battle of New Orleans (January 1815), the last battle of the War of 1812. As a result, President Madison pardoned him and his brother, but the government kept their booty and chased them out of New Orleans anyway.

Lafitte then set up a new operation in Galveston Island, Texas in 1817. He thrived again… with twice the riches and 1000 people in his community. And in 1821, he was again chased out by the US government.

During the early 1800s, Piracy Laws in England, France, Spain, and the US had become stronger and enforced better. Spanish ships passed less though the Caribbean because of Piracy. Spanish colonies were gaining independence from Spain. So the glory days of Pirates and Privateering in the Atlantic and Caribbean were at an end.

Lafitte sailed to Yucatan, Mexico with his extensive treasure, where he is reported to have died in 1823. Marking the end of an Era? Jean Lafitte is the best known last great Pirate of the Gulf of Mexico.

Cajun vs Creole Cuisines of New Orleans

Is it Cajun Creole? or Cajun or Creole? or Cajun and Creole?

Cajun is a rural-based culture. Cajuns, a corruption of Acadians, were French immigrants who settled in Acadia (Acadie) in Northeastern Canada in the 1600s. Beginning in 1753, the British began forcibly expelling them. Over the next 30 years, as many as 30,000 Acadians migrated from Canada, through the 13 Colonies, the Caribbean, and France and regrouped in rural Southwestern Louisiana, which they called Acadiana.

They thrived in the abundance of their new home and created a vibrant, diverse Cajun Cuisine from ingredients from the bayous, the Gulf, the swamp, the wild woods, and all that they could grow from their farms. A gastronomic powerhouse. Distinctive culture, renowned cuisine.

Creole is a city-based culture. New Orleans looked to the best of France and the culinary traditions that have thrived there ever since it was founded in 1682 by the French. Over the years, the city has been enriched from the mix of European, Caribbean and African heritages. Creole Cuisine is food derived from a sophisticated blend from that mix.

So, is it Cajun and Creole, Cajun or Creole, or Cajun Creole? All of them. Can you have a Cajun Creole blend? Yes, indeed. Just look to the next recipe.

Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a simple-to-prepare, easy-to-get-right, conglomeration of delicious, aromatic ingredients and spices. It parallels the Spanish paella, the African jollof, and the Provencal French jambalaia, meaning mishmash or mixup, also used for pilaf. This is a blend of Cajun (smoky, spices, cooking techniques) and Creole (tomatoes, cooking techniques). So, Jambalaya might be the quintessential dish to represent Cajun Creole Cuisine.

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne is best)
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 T rendered smoky bacon drippings
  • 3/4 lb smoked andouille sausage, cut in 1/2″ slices
  • 2 C chopped onions (1 large)
  • 1 C chopped male green bell pepper (1 medium, 3 bumps on the bottom)
  • 1 C chopped celery
  • 3/4 lb smoked chicken thighs, small bite-sized
  • 2 T chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 C diced tomatoes (1 lb)
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 2 C seafood stock or chicken (bone) broth
  • 2 C uncooked Texmati rice
  • 3/4 lb medium shimp

    Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille Jambalaya. Smoky, savory, healthy comfort food at its best.

Procedure

  1. Combine the Seasoning Mix in a small glass bowl.
  2. In a heavy 4-qt pan (Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven) melt the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the andouille and saute until crispy on the outside, 5 minutes or so. Stir frequently.
  3. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, cover so the steam stays in the pan, stir occasionally scraping the pan bottom each time for 5 minutes. Veg will be tender but still firm.
  4. Add the chicken, seasoning mix, garlic, stirring and scraping the pan bottom. 3 minutes. Tasting at this point blasts you with a massive salt taste. Not to worry, it will soon be incognito.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook until everything is heated through. Continue to stir and scrape often. 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and cook for about 7 minutes. Stir and scrape.
  7. Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer, add the rice, stir and cook for 1 hour. Rice should be bursting with broth.
  9. Turn off the heat, stir in the shrimp, and let sit till the shrimp turn pink. Check after 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the bay leaves and serve. Mound two 1/2 C portions on a plate and smother with 1/3 C Creole Sauce.

Notice the deep smoky base with the savory herbs (thyme, bay leaves, oregano) topped with the pronounced but balanced spicy heat… and no salt. Note also the broad flavor range added by the many fresh vegetables; and the varied textures of the different meats (especially the crispened andouille), veg, and rice. This is such a healthy comfort food, one of my all time favorites to cook as well as eat. It is just so incredible every time I make it.

For a party or for taking on a boat, just transfer this into a 4-qt slow cooker.

Creole Sauce

Sweet and spicy, this tomato-based Creole Sauce is a perfect complement to this jambalaya.

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne will do)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

Ingredients

  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 C onions, diced small
  • 1/2 C celery, diced small
  • 1/2 C sweet female green bell pepper (4 bumps on the bottom)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh garlic, minced fine
  • 1 1/4 C Chicken Stock (or chicken bone broth)
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp raw or turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp hot Louisiana pepper sauce

Procedure

  1. Combine the Seasoning Mix in a small glass bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a 5 C saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes, onions, celery, and bell peppers; then add the seasoning mix, stirring thoroughly. Keep stirring, while sauteing until onions are transparent, maybe 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, stock/broth, tomato sauce, sugar and hot sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes to give time for the vegetables to cook thoroughly and the flavors to marry. Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Notice that the sweetness from the butter base, basil, paprika, sweet bell pepper, and sugar along with the chicken stock is quite different from the savory, smoky jambalaya with seafood stock.

This Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille Jambalaya with Creole Sauce is the perfect combination for any dinner. Together they flood your senses; it is visually appealing, and gifts you with aromas and a broad range of textures and flavors that pounce on your taste buds all at once. A celebration for the palate. A feat of gastronomic greatness!

Lagniappe (A Little Something Extra)

I use canned tomatoes and usually make my own seafood and chicken stock. There are boxes of beef, chicken, and vegetable stock and bone broths in my pantry when I need them.

There are two breads that accompany this meal well, which I will include in other postings: Honey Bread and New Orleans Black Muffins. Wait till you experience these!

The most famous chef from Cajun Country is Chef Paul Prudhomme. He has been the greatest influence in my style of cooking. My Dad gave me his first cookbook in 1991 and the first thing I made was blackened redfish. For his 2nd cookbook, Seasoned America, he got recipes from around the US and made ’em Cajun-Creole. This is how I cook everything. I kept buying his other cookbooks over the years, and now I have 6.

“Good cooking, good living, good loving.” – Paul Prudhomme, my mentor and hero autographed his Lousiana Tastes cookbook for me at a book signing. I got to talk with him for about a minute. Such a thrill for me to be with such a legend in his own time.

I appreciate your taking the time to read this, it is fun for me. So, stop on back by, now, y’hear? There are more recipes here for you to explore, plus there are many more on the way for Pirates and all who love us.

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts about this article, especially if you have a question about how to prepare this food, OK? And also, leave a comment to let me know how the meal turned out, when you cook this for your friends and family.

Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

Pirate Mike

I'm a Foodie. I like Pirates. Cooking for Pirates is a passion. I've been cooking for decades and recently discovered that I cook like Pirates ate. Ha! A Foodie Pirate. Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

18 Comments

  1. Chicken, that’s the first option? Well it doesnt surprise me as its still the go to option on a daily basis in my household as well.

    Loving these detailed dish recipes, will pass these onto the family to get stuck into sooner rather than later.

    You are definitely catering for a whole new world out there, I am sure there are some boats out there chomping at the bit for a piece of one of these dishes.

    • Shane, I appreciate your comment.

      Chicken thighs are great for this, as they do not dry out like breasts do. Also, they absorb the smoke better. And the texture holds up well. I use organic, so I know it’s tasty and healthy.

      This is one of the best healthy comfort food recipes that I can share with my family and friends. It’s also great to serve in a slow cooker at a Pirate Party.

      As for boats, this could definitely be made on land, frozen, and then placed a slow cooker at sea. Or it might be simple enough to prepare at sea!!

      Thanks for taking the time to connect.

      Enjoy your day.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

      Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is party for a Pirate. 

  2. Hey Mike

    Really interesting read, great to finally see a good description of what the difference is between a pirate and a privateer, seems like the same difference might be used to describe a thief and a bank manager these days.  Anyway, I’ll definitely be testing out this recipe the next time I’m having a cook-up on the weekend, looks like it would feed a few with little effort.

    I imagine that International “Talk Like a Pirate Day” (19th September) is a big occasion at your place?

    • I appreciate your taking your time to leave a comment. Thank you.

      Rummaging through Pirate Lore is a fascinating voyage. I’m reading a book by a Navy SEAL who has researched the myths about Pirates. As mainly presented to us through media… books in the 1800’s, movies in the 1900’s. Pirates were a lot different.

      The best account of a Pirate’s life in real time is William Dampier’s A Voyage Round the World, 1699. He was a Pirate and Privateer at different times. He also was the first Global Foodie. 

      I do hope you enjoy a good time with making this and sharing it will loved ones. That is what this food is for! It is simple to make and easy to get right.

      International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day? Is everyday!!

      Thanks again for stopping by and dropping a note.

      Enjoy your day.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

      Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

  3. Irresistible dish Pirake Mike!

    Sausages, celeries, shrimps with spices, I can do that but the creole sauce I think is what makes all the difference. 

    It compliments the who dish and I can’t wait to get started for dinner (I just checked my fridge and I have everything). Good to go, I’m going to nail this for dinner, arr! Question – what do you think of Cayenne Pepper if I add it along with the spices in the menu? Will it be too overpowering? 

    • Hi, Riaz,

      I appreciate such an excellent comment.

      I’m excited for you to cook this and to let me know your thoughts on it.

      The Creole Sauce definitely adds a different dimension to this dish. It has a lighter, sweeter taste than the Jambalaya. No smoky flavor, and all those ingredients that add sweetness. It also has enough of the similar ingredients. So its a welcome complement that finishes the taste of the jambalaya.

      Now for the Cayenne… this IS a fiery-hot dish. It will overpower some… especially with the white pepper, black pepper, along with the red pepper. This is designed to provide your mouth with a massive experience. Spicy hot, dull hot, searing hot along with all the other dilectable tastes from the meats, vegetables, and herbs and spices. If you are concerned about the peppers overpowering the dish, then by all means, use 1/2 of all the peppers, or a 1/4. Then adjust them for the next time you prepare this.

      This has been fun for me. Thank you. I hope you enjoy this, too. It is one my favorite dishes to cook and eat.

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

      Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

  4. Hi Mike

    Just with the title of your post, my stomach was curious, lol. I have enjoyed the history part of the post too, it is always good to know the origin of what we do, and you sure know your pirate cuisine’s origin.

    I love chicken in anything really, I have never tried this mixture but I am sure it can only be divine. I would have loved to see you cook in a video, it is much easier to follow a cooking process on image. But I have bookmarked this page and will come back to write down, because I will be trying it soon and will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks

    • Thank you, what a nice comment.

      Knowing the history helps you know more about how things were developed, and why. Pirate history is fun, it’s a hobby, and it’s still popular because the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. Have you seen Firefly? It’s set in the future.

      Chicken is a great food. It is versatile, always tasty. I like to use chicken thighs because of the taste and texture is more of what I like.

      Videos: these are definitely planned, and you are correct, it will make cooking these recipes easier by providing a visual guide. So, please, yes, bookmark this site and revisit soon and often.

      I would be delighted to hear how the cooking goes. And how others like it when you serve this excellent food.

      Again, thank you for the very nice comment. And I’m looking forward to hearing from you again.

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

      Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate. 

  5. What a twist, hahaha, that’s great! Food with a story. I was so into Pirate, excuse me, Privatee, Jean and then, I got a cool recipe as well. 

    Pirate Mike, you made my day 🙂

    I also learnt a new word, Privatee. I didn’t know that that’s a classy, pedigree gangster. What a find!

    As for the recipe, I’ll definitely try it with a little tweak and avoid animal products. Do you maybe have any recommendation which veggies to use to keep it authentic?

    Thanks,

    Katya 

    • Katya, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the story… and a new word, Privateer…. and a new recipe… bonus.

      Having fun is what life is all about… joy.

      About the non-meat, I really don’t have any suggestions, except for tofu and the soy burger and sausages. Black beans might be ok. They are substantial and delicious. Or maybe lentils.

      As for authentic veggies, almost anything in the world will do. By 1699 Pirates were in every ocean in the world. William Dampier was a Pirate and Privateer who ended up sailing around the world. He ate things in every port of call. Flamingoes, iguanas, tubers, plantain, squash, coconuts, cacao beans, ….. So, if you have favorite veg from anywhere feel free to use them. 

      I’m glad this made you happy. And thanks again for the comment.

      Enjoy.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

  6. I am always amazed with the stories of pirates. When I was young I always thought that pirates ransack and pillage but I never knew one who is a patriot himself like Lafitte. Because of these historical people, new era has began on some parts by certain group of people. Hence the birth of another culture began. 

    If you can’t think of food to prepare, try the Jambalaya. It’s easy and you can make your own version or choose whatever ingredient is to your liking. The recipe you gave is just perfect because the ingriedients aren’t hard to find. I should probably try the Creole sauce because I haven’t done it before.  I will look forward for that Honey bread and black muffins!

    • Ahoy, 

      Aye, Pirates were like sea warriors, and they did ransack and pillage. Jean Lafitte is an interesting character to be sure. Look up Sir Francis Drake… he was another Privateer under the employ of the British Crown. He traveled around the world on a smallish ship, and brought back a large booty to England. The Queen bestowed knighthood on him.

      Do let me know when you make the Jambalaya and I’m glad that you can see the goodness in making the Creole Sauce. And do bookmark this site because there are other great recipes here, the Honey Bread and the Black Muffins will apprear.

      Do we have an accord?

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

  7. Hello Mike,

    I liked your post very much. Because, I am a food lover and I like to explore different kinds of foods. I liked this recipe very much. In your article, you have described the procedures, ingredients and the cultural history of this food. Your writing was so nice that it helped me to understand the whole recipe and hoe to make it.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this kind of recipe with us. Good wishes for you. Please keep writing like this.

    • Ahoy, Touhidur,

      You’re a foodie, too, I see.

      I appreciate your kind comment. Cooking has been my passion for several decades now and I’m having more fun now than ever before.

      Let me know if you do cook this recipe and how you like it.

      Good cooking to you.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

  8. Lovely article. I like how you combined the story with cooking recipe. It makes reading so much more interesting.I like pirates, I like chicken and I like shrimps. So your article was the perfect read for me today and the food look delicious. I will definitely pass it on to my wife for further inspection. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      This is a labor of love for me. Cooking is my passion and a good way for me to understand the recipes and food better is to know some history. I’m glad you found it of interest.

      Thanks, again… and do let me know what your wife thinks and whether she decides to cook it for you.

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

  9. Great article and recipe. I lived in the Nawlins area for 7 years. I like to think that’s where you want to go to discover what cooking great food is really all about. Those folks can cook anything and make it taste GOOD!

    • Hi, KC.
      I’ve been cookin’ Cajun for about 30 years now.
      Mostly from Paul Prudhomme’s cookbooks.
      I owe a lot to him… much of what he teaches, I’ve transferred to other country’s dishes.
      He’s my lifelong favorite.
      Thank you for dropping me a note.
      Enjoy your memories of NOLA… I’ve only visited there for a short time.
      And, yes, it is still magic.
      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie
      Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party to a Pirate.

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