Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya

This easy dinner is packed full of flavour and loaded with crispy chorizo and juicy chicken. You can’t go wrong with chorizo in your life!

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Let me tell you something about my life right now. Hay fever has taken over and it sucks so much! I had never in my entire life had hay fever until I moved to London 3 years ago. I used to see the ads on TV for hay fever medication and be oblivious to the suffering those people faced. Boy, do I feel for those people now. The most annoying thing is that I know exactly what plant is causing my hay fever (yeah, I’m talking about you Mr horse-chestnut tree), but I can do absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught of those minuscule little bits of pollen coming along every year.

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Now that we are well and truly into spring here in London, the flowers are blooming, everything is so pretty and I am avoiding going outside like it’s the plague. My nose is itchy all. the. time! The runny nose and eyes seem to have abated for the moment, but the flowers are only just starting to bloom, so it’s bound to get worse before it gets better. Ugh!

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

But enough of my woes, let’s talk about jambalaya! I’m sure my American friends need no introduction to the dish, but what about everyone else? In case you’ve never come across it before, jambalaya is like paella’s American brother. Think rice cooked in a tomato-y sauce, chuck in some meat and veg and a few spices, and you’ve got yourself some jambalaya. In this case, I’ve used chicken and chorizo, but in the past I’ve made it with prawns and chorizo and it was pretty tasty. Feel free to change it up with the meat or seafood of your choice. Just don’t get rid of the chorizo, that stuff is just too good to leave out!

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Combining the prep and cooking times below, you may think it takes a while to make this jambalaya. You’d be wrong! The cooking time may take a little while, but half of it is just letting the rice do it’s thing with an occasional stir every now and then. There are a tonne of things you could be doing while the rice is cooking. Such as making a salad. Or drinking a glass of wine. Or watching an episode of the Big Bang Theory (minus the ads and credits). Just don’t assume this is only a weekend dish, because it’s really not. It’s so simple and straight-forward you can crank it out any night of the week you like.

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


1 tbsp olive oil
200g cured chorizo, thickly sliced and quartered
350g chicken breasts, diced
1 medium brown onion, diced
1 small red capsicum (pepper), seeded and diced
1 small green capsicum (pepper), seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp chilli flakes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
500ml passata
500ml chicken stock
⅔ cup uncooked rice


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or saucepan over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until just crisp and before it starts to smoke. Quickly remove chorizo from pan onto a plate or bowl lined with paper towel, leaving any excess oil in the pan.
  2. Add diced chicken to pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until chicken is browned on all sides. It does not need to be cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to another bowl or plate.
  3. Add onion and capsicum to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, oregano, thyme, chilli powder, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and stir for a minute or so, until fragrant and well combined. Return chicken to the pan and add passata, chicken stock and uncooked rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken and rice are cooked and liquid has been absorbed. Stir in chorizo, remove from heat and serve immediately.


One comment

  1. Jambalaya is pretty wonderful and yours looks perfect, especially for a Brit!!! (kidding) I love chicken and chorizo together, and sometimes shrimp is included too, which works so well.

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