NEW ORLEANS JAMBALAYA


This yummy jambalaya recipe is a fabulous taste of New Orleans. What you’ll love most about preparing New Orleans jambalaya is that it’s an easy one-pot meal. I know that you and I are on the exact same page in looking for ways to free ourselves up so we can spend more quality time with our families. Life is fast-paced and hectic, so it’s more important than ever to find quick and easy recipes that will allow us to sit down at the table with our families and enjoy a delicious meal together. Spending time connecting with one another after a busy day keeps families bonded and tight, and encourages the doors of communication to remain wide open.

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2  ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 small bell peppers (combination of green, red, yellow, orange), chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 14-ounce package of Eckrich Smoked Sausage, sliced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • Homemade Cajun spice blend (see ingredients below)
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, deveined and tail removed
  • 1 + 1/4 cup okra
  • Optional garnishes: green onions and fresh parsley leaves

HOMEMADE CAJUN SPICE BLEND - MIX ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don't like spicy foods!)
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy pan with a lid, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the celery, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute the veggies over medium-high heat until they begin to get tender. On my gas stovetop this takes about four minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add another two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan with the veggies. Fold in the chicken and Eckrich Smoked Sausage. Continue to saute everything until the chicken is almost cooked and no longer pink. 
  3. Add in the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and homemade Cajun seasoning blend. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients. Add two bay leaves. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the jambalaya to simmer until the rice is fully cooked and tender. On my stovetop this takes 25 minutes. While the jambalaya is simmering, stir the ingredients every 4-5 minutes to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
  4. Fold in the shrimp and okra. Cover the pan again and allow the shrimp to cook until done. Once done, remove the two bay leaves from the pot. Do a taste test and see if you need to add in some additional salt and pepper or slightly increase the heat with a sprinkling of more cayenne pepper.
  5. Your delicious jambala is ready to be garnished with green onions and fresh parsley leaves. Serve and enjoy!  

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