Either on the grill or stove top, combine rice, canned tomatoes, minced garlic, 1-teaspoon creole seasoning and chicken broth in saucepan; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender. Note - all liquid may not be all absorbed. Remove from heat and allow rice to stand covered for 10 minutes.
Dice onion, bell peppers, and celery stalk into coarse 1-inch pieces; cut tomatoes in half (or quarters for larger cherry). Toss vegetables with 1-2 tablespoons oil (vegetables should be thoroughly coated with oil, but not dripping; toss with 1-2 teaspoons creole seasoning. Set aside.
Cut chicken thighs into bite-size pieces, toss with 2-teaspoons oil, then with 1-3 teaspoons creole seasoning (start with 1-teaspoon seasoning and add more to taste later). Slice sausage in half lengthwise then into ¼-inch thick slices.
Place vegetables, chicken and sausage evenly in hot grill basket; grill, with lid down, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables tender; and edges charred.
To serve, toss grilled meat and vegetables with cooked rice. Season to taste with creole seasoning or salt and pepper. If desired, add tomato juice or V-8 juice to create desired consistency. Garnish with fresh snipped parsley, sliced green onions, and quartered lemons
What is Jambalya?
Jambalaya is a Louisiana dish of sausage along with other meats - like chicken, shrimp, pork, even alligator - vegetables and creole seasoning cooked with rice. Sometimes this stew like dish is simmered for an hour or longer and stirred frequently at the first. Stirring breaks up rice and the long cooking makes it a thick and sometimes mushy consistency. We’re going to break it down the recipe into parts. The more classic dish mixes the meat and vegetables together with rice and broth and cooked until the rice is done. Here’s the catch. Jambalaya can be cooked for an hour or longer, and stirred often until the last stages of cooking. The long cooking time, with the frequent stirring, can create a mushier texture. I prefer a little firmer rice, but love the flavor possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, some Jambalaya cooks only simmer their recipe for 20 minutes or so or until the rice is cooked. I like that method the best.
Adding spice to the dish adds heat - and may “burn” the taste buds. Water doesn't cool hot taste buds, but milk will. Dairy is undeniably the cool solution for spicy hot foods.
Still too spicy for the taste buds? Andouille sausage varies in spiciness. Use the smaller amount of creole seasoning, taste, then add as needed to suit flavor intensity desired. May also substitute Andouille sausage with a milder smoked sausage and substitute salt to taste for part of the creole seasoning.
* May substitute 1-cup chicken broth for 1-cup canned clam juice for a fuller flavor.