Soul Food

    Soul Food

Sometimes all we want here at Calder Valley Radio is the satisfaction of tucking into a really comforting dish. Something warming and hearty that feels like a hug- but with the Spring coming we want fresher, lighter flavours that feel a bit healthier. So this Jambalaya recipe by the Hairy Bikers, ticks all the boxes offering a lighter but still flavoursome spicy dish. It’s real Soul Food, which we could all do with right now as we’ve all got a serious case of lockdown fatigue. We think it goes best with a glass of red wine and a listen back to our Soulman Hugh Williams and his Souled Out Show - hear him play some of the best rhythm and blues and jazz below.

Southern Style Jambalaya

Image courtesy of the Hairy Bikers


Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes


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)
Faked 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 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.

Now enjoy… If you make it this week for dinner, give us a shout to tell us how you get on or email us a photo to - the best dinner might win a prize (Gordon Ramsey style!) 

Here's some we made earlier (presentation isn't always our forte...)


Also, check out some of our top soul tracks for the perfect accompaniment. Search Calder Valley Radio on Spotify or use the link below:

Top Tracks:
Knock on Wood
by Eddie Floyd
Hard to Handle
by Otis Redding
Slip Away
by Clarence Carter
Let’s Stay Togethe
r by Al Green
Unchain My Heart
by Ray Charles
Let’s Get It On
by Marvin Gaye 

Recipe c/o The Hairy Bikers:

Over and out

By Louise Ann Oldroyd 


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