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Paul Prudhomme’s Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya

Paul Prudhomme’s Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya is a classic cajun dish that is a must make for Mardi Gras. The tasso ham adds wonderful flavor and spice.

Paul Prudhomme's Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya


Paul Prudhomme, who passed away in 2015, was the former executive chef of Commander’s Palace. He went on to open K-Paul’s in the French Quarter and he was known for making Cajun cooking (country cooking) popular in th the Creole city of New Orleans. He was responsible for the popularity of blackened redfish and published 11 cookbooks. If you’re looking to make homemade versions of your favorite Louisiana dishes, you can’t go wrong with his recipes.

There is a whole lot of spice in this Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya and that’s what makes it so good. The tasso ham is really key to this recipe and it can be a little hard to find outside of Louisiana, but you can order tasso ham online. It is a smoked ham with lots of spice added. You could substitute regular smoked ham, but you may need to up the amount of cayenne. Likewise, I find spice level can vary a great deal from one purveyor of tasso ham to the next. Be aware that you may want to adjust the seasonings based on your ham.

Paul Prudhomme's Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya


In addition to tasso ham, white pepper, thyme, sage, garlic, cayenne, and bay leaves plus the Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery) flavor this Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya.

There’s also 1/2 cup tomato sauce and some diced tomatoes. Some people don’t think tomatoes should be in jambalaya, but I like them.

Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya

More Mardi Gras Recipes

Paul Prudhomme's Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya

Paul Prudhomme's Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya

Paul Prudhomme's Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya is a classic cajun dish that is a must make for Mardi Gras. The tasso ham adds wonderful flavor and spice.
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
TOTAL: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 /2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound chopped tasso ham
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion, divided
  • 1 cup chopped celery, divided
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 914-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice, uncooked


  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add tasso and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add seasoning mix and half the onion, celery, and green pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, remaining onion, celery, and green pepper.
  • Add chicken stock and rice and stir to mix. Transfer mixture to 9-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes. Stir well and remove bay leaves. 
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cajun, Mardi Gras

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Recipe Source: adapted from Louisiana Cookin

Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya is so spicy and perfect for Mardi Gras! #cajun #southern #jambalaya

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13 thoughts on “Paul Prudhomme’s Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya”

  1. I’ve been making this for years. I’ve always just cooked it in a big pot and steamed steamed the rice in it. I don’t boil the chicken and sausage though. I cook them first then add them to the cooked rice and vegetables.

  2. I’ve been making this oven-baked jambalaya for many years. The real key is generating fond using a large non-nonstick sauce pan, layering the flavors of the trinity in 2 distinct cooking steps. Converted rice (aka uncle bens) should be used. As Spice proportions differ in Chef Paul Prudhommes Louisiana Kitchen cookbook…Use the cookbook verbatum EXCEPT cut the cayanne by 1/2. It will still be plenty spicy! Best jamb. ever created!

  3. Spicy, smoky goodness! I smoked the chicken thighs and then cut them up and added to the Tasso. I also doubled the cayenne for a more piquant dish. Don’t skimp on the chicken broth!

  4. This recipe is 🔥. Delicious.

    I didn’t have the Tasso ham so I substituted Aidells Cajun style andouille sausage and it was great. Had the perfect amount of heat for me but my wife and son thought it was a little too spicy. Will try it with less cayenne next time for them, but if you don’t mind spice, this came out perfect.

  5. LoveAndSqualor

    Thanks for the recipe — this turned out great! The rice was still crunchy after the hour was up, so I added a bit of water, covered the pan with foil and put it back in the oven for an extra 15 mins or so. I think next time I will start with the pan covered and remove the foil half way through the cook time to avoid this issue. It tasted fantastic though and I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. William McKnight

      I had the privilege of meeting chef Prudhomme when he held a cooking presentation in Tampa in the early 1980’s. I was working at the department store on the loading dock and my job was to help him set up in the kitchen for his show with about 25 attendees.

      At the end of the show he called me upstairs and when I arrived he gave me a huge plate of all of his dishes prepared that night as a thank you for my help.

      He prepared this dish in a large 3 and 1/2 ” deep steam table pan and it was indeed a little crunchy. I think it was by design. Your trick will certainly soften the rice.

      After meeting the chef I became an instant fan of his style of cooking.

  6. HELP . . Many years ago I had a wonderful Paul P. cookbook with this Rabbit (instead of chicken) recipe. That recipe recommended a special red sauce (whose recipe was in another section of the same book), that went so wonderfully well with this Rabbit (Chicken) Tasso (81 Cure Ham Substitute). Does anyone know what that dish is called and how to make it? It may have had a “rue” in it.

    40 years ago as the Railcar Restoration Project Manager, I was the first person to cook in the kitchen car of the Wine Train in Napa, California (before the train made its maiden trip) and I made this Rabbit (Chicken) Tasso, topped with that “Red Sauce” for the crew. Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

      1. The book is “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen”

        The recipe is indeed “Creole Sauce”. Page 248 in the book.

        2 whole bay leaves
        3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
        1/2 teaspoon sault
        1/2 teaspoon white pepper
        1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
        1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
        1/2 teaspoon black pepper
        1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
        1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
        4 tablespoons unsalted butter
        1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
        3/4 cup chopped unions
        3/4 cup chopped celery
        3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
        1 1/2 teaspoons binced garlic
        1 1/4 cup chicken stock
        1 cup canned tomato sauce
        1 teaspoon sugar
        1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

        Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes, onions, celery, and bell peppers; then add the garlic and seasoning mix, stirring thoroughly. Saute until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the stock, tomato sauce, sugar, and Tabasco; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender and flavors are married, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.

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