Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Jambalaya Recipe in Honor of Pulitzer Prize Winner Hank Williams

April 13th, 2010 · No Comments

“Jambalaya, crawfish pie, an a file gumbo….sonofagun gonna have big fun on de bayou!”

The Pulitzers were announced yesterday, and in the category of music, Hank Williams – one of my father’s favorite singers – won a special Pulitzer.

I have fond memories of my father, waking me up for school by singing, “Hey hey, good lookin’!” (or, more often, the Mule Skinner Blues – “Good mornin’, Captn. – hee, ha hee hee hee!”).

In honor of one of his hits, and because I love jambalaya, here’s Hank singing it:

Paul Prudhomme’s Jambalaya Recipe

Here’s the jambalaya recipe, from chef Paul Prudhomme. The chef who put cajun cooking on the map cooked this for the group of food journalists I was with at a New Orleans convention in the ’90s. We were crusing down the Mississippi on a riverboat at twilight – and Prudhomme was sitting on deck, next to the biggest skillet I’ve ever seen in my life, stirring his jambalaya and telling us food editors how to make it. It was simply delicious, and one of many magical meals from that incredible trip.

Paul Prudhomme’s Jambalaya

  • 36 large oysters, shucked
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup diced smoked sausage
  • 1 cup raw, diced boneless chicken
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2- 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 8 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 -1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups fish or 2 cups clam juice and 2 cups water
  • 2- 1/2 cups converted rice
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 36 large shrimp, uncooked, deveined and shelled


Shuck oysters and set aside. (You can save oyster liquor to use as part of fish stock if desired.)

 Cook ham, sausage and chicken in butter in Dutch oven until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onion, celery and green peppers. Cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, garlic and cayenne pepper; simmer for 10 minutes. Add fish stock. Bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Pour into large baking pan. Add rice. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Add green onion, shrimp and shucked oysters. Cover and bake until all liquid is absorbed – about 15 minutes.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking! · Southern Roots Run Deep · Today in the World of Food

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