Jambalaya Chicken and Pork Balls with Spicy Sauce and Prawns

. April, 2017
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Jambalaya Chicken and Pork Balls with Spicy Sauce and Prawns

The great thing about this recipe is you can crank the heat up or down to suit your taste. They make a perfect do-ahead dinner. 

Serves: 6–8


Spicy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
½ green capsicum, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, sweet smoked paprika
½ teaspoon celery seeds
⅛–¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼–½ teaspoon chilli flakes
700 grams tomato passata
1 bay leaf
1–2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 slices white toast bread, crusts removed
¼ cup milk 
400 grams chicken thighs, roughly chopped
500 grams pork mince
1 stick celery
½ each red and green capsicum
½ cup parsley, plus extra
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup flour
rice bran or light olive oil spray
1 tablespoon olive oil 
300 grams raw prawns 
½ teaspoon chilli flakes 
rice, to serve


Spicy sauce: Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cook the onion, celery and capsicum over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until softened. Season and add the garlic and herbs and spices.

Cook for 3–4 minutes, then add remaining ingredients with 1⁄2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Meatballs: Soak the bread slices in the milk for 10 minutes.

Put the chicken in a food processor and whiz to blend. Add the pork. Roughly chop the celery, capsicums, ½ cup parsley and thyme. Add to the processor along with the garlic, paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper. Pulse to combine.

Squeeze bread gently to remove excess milk. Add to the mixture with the egg. Pulse again to combine, then tip out into a large bowl.

Combine the breadcrumbs and flour on a flat plate. Roll the mixture into 26–28 balls, rolling gently in the breadcrumb mixture as you go. Cover and chill for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line two oven trays with baking paper. Spray the balls lightly with oil and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until cooked through. Reheat the sauce and heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Cook the prawns for 2 minutes, season with chilli flakes, salt and pepper and cook further until pink and cooked through.

Serve the meatballs with rice, the spicy sauce, prawns and a sprinkling of finely chopped extra parsley.