Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya

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Two secret ingredients make this Wiscons-Style Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

Two secret ingredients make One-Pot Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

Two secret ingredients make this Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

Although I currently live in Los Angeles, I was born and raised in Wisconsin. This time of year, when all my friends and family back home (“Back East,” as they say way out here) post pictures of flannel-wearing, apple-picking fun, I get a little nostalgic for crisp, fall air and early-morning frost. I’ll be heading back there soon enough for a visit, but in the meantime, I decided to put an America’s Dairyland twist on an old Creole favorite: Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya. It’s full of flavors and ready to go in about 30 minutes!

Must Add Cheese

In Wisconsin, we tend to go around adding cheese to everything.  Chicken?  Throw some cheese on it!  Potatoes?  Cover them in cheese!  Broccoli?  More cheese, please! Rather than taking the obvious route of simply covering the Jambalaya in shredded cheese, I opted for the subtler addition of cheese-filled sausage: CheddarWurst®. If you’ve never had it, it tastes a lot like Polish sausage but has cheese oozing from the inside. To keep the cheese from oozing everywhere, I heat the links whole and when they are warmed, I remove them, slice them, and add them back to the pot. CheddarWurst® is typically sold in a pack of links (hot dog or bratwurst-sized links, not breakfast sausage links).

Two secret ingredients make this Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

Must Add Beer

People in Wisconsin also love their beer.  After all, Milwaukee is full of German immigrants.  Schlitz beer was started here – “The beer that made Milwaukee famous.” So let’s add a cold one to the pot! Cook your rice in beer to keep things interesting and flavorful. If you don’t keep beer on hand you can find singles in many grocery stores (Note: It will probably be an oversized can).

Chicken and Shrimp

A few more notes on the ingredients: You can use whatever type of cooked chicken you like. Leftover rotisserie chicken is an easy option or try my simple method for skillet poached chicken. I used dark meat here because my husband and I prefer it, but chicken breast is probably a more traditional choice. For the shrimp, I always choose raw shrimp over pre-cooked. I find the pre-cooked shrimp gets rubbery if it is overcooked while the raw shrimp cooks in minutes and is juicy and succulent. I found raw shrimp that was peeled and deveined so it was no hard work to use it, but feel free to substitute cooked shrimp if that is your preference.

Spice to Taste!

I do not eat super-spicy food and this recipe reflects that with only a 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper. Add more to taste and serve with Tabasco as well to spice things up. But, if you usually shy away from spicy food, you will probably be able to enjoy this Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya without any problems!

Two secret ingredients make this Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

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Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya

Yield: 8 servings

Two secret ingredients make One-Pot Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya worthy of the Dairy State. This complete meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot!

Ingredients:

  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ c. chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounces) can lager or beer
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes and juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 T. fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 c. cooked boneless, skinless chicken
  • ½ lb. medium raw shrimp, thawed and tails removed
  • 1 – 14oz. Hillshire Farm CheddarWurst®
  • Tabasco sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and red pepper and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, beer, diced tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, rice, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken, shrimp, and CheddarWurst®. Cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer, until chicken, shrimp, and sausage are heated through and rice is softened.
  4. Remove CheddarWurst® and slice; return to pot. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve with Tabasco sauce.

Related Recipes:

Paella with Shrimp and Sausage

Paella with Shrimp and Sausage | Culinary Hill

Baked Puerto Rican Rice

Baked Puerto Rican Rice combines sweet Italian sausage with fluffy rice and crunchy vegetables. Perfect as a main dish or side dish!

17 comments

    • Hey thanks Tina! I am working on my photography a lot. I still have a long way to go. But I was pleased with how these turned out. Thanks for taking a look!

  1. Oh this sounds amazing! Truly the way to my heart is through cheese I think.

  2. Now this is my kind of dish, I love everything about it and need to try it. I also need to go to Wisconsin soon, German beer and adding to cheese to everything? My kind of people.

  3. Cheese and beer in everything? Well obviously I must have some Wisconsin blood in me, it would explain so much!! You know, after reading that, I just googled Wisconsin to see where exactly it is so I can make sure I work it into mu itinerary the next time I’m in the US!! I really like the look of this Jambalaya. I can tell just from reading the ingredients list that the flavour is perfect for my palette!!

    • See, I TOLD you that you needed to go there! Beer and cheese are just the start of it, let’s not forget butter burgers and frozen custard… and there is this one Italian place that makes garlic bread and they literally DRENCH the bread in butter, and it’s amazing. Side of angioplasty to go, thank you very much!

  4. I never know that I can add beer into jambalaya, what a great idea! I really like German beer, and I want to wash down this delicious meal with cold beer! I really like to cook one pot dish lately. It’s so easy and hassle free. Will definitely put this one onto my dinner menu :)

  5. I just love Jambalaya, but never tried the Wisconsin style :) (funny since I live so close to WI) ! I love the addition of beer, perfect for this time of the year!

  6. By the looks of the ingredients list, this is a mighty tasty meal! It reminds me of paella … mmm, one of my favourite meals. I love the fact that you are sharing a recipe from your home state, too. I feel really honoured to have that shared with me!

  7. I love cooking with beer. And drinking it, too! This is one hearty meal that I know we would love at my house.

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