The Best Freakin’ Jambalaya EVER

Not a very pretty picture--I know--but maybe you can get a feel for the ricey, spicy goodness...

The Frenchman and I made jambalaya last night. We based it on a Paula Dean recipe, but we added our own special flare. It was REALLY spicy and REALLY amazing…and probably not authentic at all.

But I’m incredibly pleased with how it turned out, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

NOW, please keep in mind that I’m not a recipe-cook. I’m more of a glance-at-recipe-for-general-idea-then-wing-it cook (and in this case, we glanced at Paula Dean). As such, the amounts below are not necessarily 100% accurate to what I made and you’ll want to season to your own personal tastes.

Okay, on to the recipe, ho!

Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya

Serves: 4-6 people (I eat A LOT, so it only came out to 4 servings in this household)


    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 1/2 lb. shrimp (I used frozen, cooked cocktail shrimp that I had on hand, and I thawed them before using. You could easily use uncooked shrimp.)
    • 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut in strips (uncooked)
    • 2 tbsp. salt
    • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
    • 1 tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (or less, if you don’t want it super spicy)
    • 1 tbsp. dried basil
    • 1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 6 okra pods, sliced
    • 4 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 bell pepper (or I used 1/2 yellow + 1/2 red)
    • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
    • 3 cups chicken stock
  1. First, get some water boiling for that rice. While you’re waiting for it to boil, start chopping your meat and veggies. Once the water is at a boil, add your rice. You want to cook it ~5 minutes (so it’s only partially done).
  2. Combine all the spices (salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, basil, Old Bay seasoning) in a bowl and add the shrimp and chicken. Stir it around until the meat’s all covered.
  3. Add your olive oil to a pan, then toss in the okra, celery, bell pepper, and onion. Cook until the onions are just about translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato paste. Stir until the paste is evenly spread.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, and then add your partially cooked rice. Leave it simmering ~15 minutes, or until the rice is mostly cooked. If the jambalaya is starting to look dry, just add water (I added ~1 cup of water during that 15 minutes). *I also sprinkled cayenne over the mixture at this point. It made it VERY spicy–too spicy to my husband–but I personally like that burn-your-throat kick on my food.
  6. Once the rice is mostly cooked, add your seasoned chicken and shrimp. Let the jambalaya simmer for another 10 minutes,or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. SERVE & EAT!

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it, and let me know if you have any questions/comments.

Now you tell me: do you have a good, authentic jambalaya recipe I should try?