Two things to know up front: 1) I cook the rice separately because I don't like mushy rice. 2) I prefer to cook everything else in the same pot, partly because I'm a lazy dish washer but also because the browned bits on the bottom of the pan add flavor to the broth.
- 1 lb shrimp, cleaned
- 1 c chopped cooked ham
- 3 hefty Italian sausages (or whatever spicy sausage you prefer), sliced
- 1 c chopped each: red bell pepper, onion, celery
- shishitos or padrons (optional), up to a cup (they were in season!)
- several cloves of garlic, smooshed
- 3 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes with juice (I use canned diced tomatoes)
- 1 c chicken broth
- 1 T. each fresh oregano, thyme (or 1 t. each if dried)
- 2 T paprika
- 1/4 - 1 t. cayenne powder
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- cooked rice for serving
- A large high-sided skillet or stock pot is going to be your canvas. Be sure it's large enough to welcome all the ingredients, so you can stir without spilling over the sides of the pan.
- I start with sauteing the sausage and bacon. Once enough fat is rendered, I add the veggies, including the garlic, and chicken.
- When the onions soften and the chicken is slightly browned on the outside, turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Add the tomatoes/their juice, chicken stock** and the seasonings. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the chicken is completely cooked, turn off the heat.
- The jambalaya is still steaming hot, so I add the shrimp, cover the pan and let it sit until the shrimp turn pink, so as to avoid overcooking.
- We served this over a wild rice blend and topped with scallions, with hot sauce on the side, as my son likes it spicier than I do.
** Add enough liquid for a hearty soup. I prefer a brothy jambalaya.