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This versatile Creole dish originated in America's South in the 18th century but did not become popular here until the 1950s. The name probably came from the Spanish word for ham, jamón, a main ingredient in the early jambalayas.

Lynn Cole

Serves: 4 

  • 80g butter, chopped
  • 500g chicken breast fillets
  • 4 rashers bacon, rind removed, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 200g fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 small zucchini, washed and finely sliced
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

  1. Melt 20g of the butter in a wide, heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a board, cover loosely with foil and allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting into cubes.
  2. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and sliced onion and cook, stirring often, until the bacon is browned and the onion is tender. Add the diced celery, the sliced mushrooms and zucchini, and the crumbled stock cube and cook for 2 minutes (the vegetables should still be crisp).
  3. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, or until the rice is coated with the butter and vegetable mixture. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice, the cubed chicken, the chicken stock and the shredded cabbage. Reduce the heat to low, cover the frying pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and stand for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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