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Orzo Jambalaya

  • 15 minutes
  • 15 minutes
  • 4
Orzo Jambalaya

Jambalaya is to the American deep south what risotto is to Italy. A wonderful rice dish, jambalaya is robustly seasoned and strongly flavoured with smoked sausages, duck, chicken, seafood or beef and sweetened ever such a little with tomatoes. For a change, I have used orzo pasta here, but long grain rice can be just as easily used. Like the dish itself, the name is a hotch-potch of French ('jambon' meaning ham), Arcadian ('a la', in the style of) and African ('ya' meaning rice). In Louisiana many dishes begin with the holy trinity - chopped onions, celery and green capsicums - and when the Hot pepper sprinkle is added, you have the classic flavour base for many of Louisiana's much-loved recipes.


  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 red or green capsicums, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ cups orzo pasta or long-grain rice
  • 3½ cups good chicken stock
  • 2 cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 ham steak, diced
  • 2 spicy smoked chorizo-style sausages, diced
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

Hot Pepper Sprinkle

  • 2 tablespoons coarsley ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • ½ tablespoon chilli flakes
  • ½ tablespoon flaky salt
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


  1. Pan-fry the onion, celery, garlic, chilli and capsicums in a good dash of oil until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the orzo or rice and stir to coat before pouring in the chicken stock.
  2. Bring to the boil and add the diced turkey or chicken, the ham and sausage. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer very gently for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the pasta or rice is just tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve in bowls, garnished with the chopped tomato and celery or parsley leaves and accompanied with the Hot Pepper Sprinkle for those who need a little more seasoning!

Hot Pepper Sprinkle

  1. Shake the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

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