The Hairy Dieters recipe: Southern-style Jambalaya

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Cut out the fat with this warming rice dish from those loveable Hairy Dieters...

Hairy Dieters jambalaya

© Andrew Hayes-Watkins

The Hairy Dieters (or Si and Dave to their mates) are here to help make your diet a little bit tastier with their warm and spicy jambalaya recipe.

Southern-style Jambalaya

Serves 6
341 calories per portion


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
100g chorizo (we like picante)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 slender celery sticks, cut into 1cm slices
2 small green peppers, deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks
5 large ripe vine tomatoes (about 475g)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
200g long-grain rice (we often use the easy-cook version)
450ml chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube
100g cooked peeled king prawns, thawed if frozen
6 spring onions, sliced (including lots of green)
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, removing any excess fat, and season them with salt and pepper. Skin the sausage and cut it into 5mm slices.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or non-stick sauté pan and fry the chicken for 3 minutes over a medium heat until lightly coloured. Add the chorizo and cook for 30 seconds more, then transfer the chicken and chorizo with tongs to a large plate or tray.

Tip most of the oil out of the frying pan and chuck it away. Return the empty pan to the heat and turn the heat down to low.

Stir in the onion, celery and green peppers and cook for 8–10 minutes until well softened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes – see our top tip. Cut them in half and remove the green stem ends, then roughly chop the rest of the flesh – no need to deseed.

Stir the crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano and bay leaves into the frying pan and cook for 20–30 seconds, stirring. Increase the heat and add the chopped tomatoes and any juice that has collected on the board. Cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are well softened, stirring regularly.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, add the rice and cook for about a minute, stirring. Pour over the stock, season with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed by the rice, stirring occasionally. The rice should still be pretty saucy at this point, so if your rice takes longer to cook, you may need to add a little more stock.

Stir in the prawns and spring onions and cook for about 2 minutes more or until the prawns are hot, stirring regularly, then serve.

Top tip
To skin tomatoes, make a small cross in the base of each tomato with the tip of a knife. Put the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and cover with just-boiled water. Leave the tomatoes to stand for 30–60 seconds until the skins begin to wrinkle back, then drain. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, strip off the skins and chuck them away.

The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight by Dave Myers and Si King is published in paperback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson at £14.99

Hairy Dieters cook book

Let us know how you got on with the recipe below and you could be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag



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