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Shhhhh….don’t tell my dad I’m posting his recipe… 😉

I have always loved a good, hearty meal. Growing up, I remember my dad always experimenting in the kitchen and making some really great food with whatever we had, but my three favorite recipes to this day are his classics: gumbo, chili, and jambalaya. Mmm just thinking about it makes me salivate! I got him to put this recipe on paper a few months ago so that I could share it with Jen, which means now I’m going to share it with the WORLD muahahahaha! Ahem. Sorry.

Anyway, this list of ingredients looks intimidating, I know. And normally I’m all about substituting in recipes if you don’t happen to have everything in your pantry and fridge (like the crawfish tails and andouille sausage, depending on where you live), but if you’re going to take the time to make this, I would really recommend that you find all the right ingredients. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a few hours to kill? Good, let’s get started.

1 pound of medium shrimp (40-50 shrimps)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (about half a pound)
1 pound of andouille sausage, diced
1/2 pound of crawfish tails
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon pf good hot sauce
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of cajun seasoning (you can make your own or buy a mix)
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 cups of dry rice
6 cups of chicken stock
olive oil

All the work you’ll be doing is in the prep, total cooking time is really only 40 minutes. It’s just going to take you a while to collect all your ingredients and then dice all the vegetables and meat. But then you’ll be able to enjoy your delicious concoction for days on end! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 375. In the giantest pot that you have, add a couple of tablespoons of oil and saute the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the cajun seasoning. Cook slowly, on medium to low heat, until the veggies are very soft. While that’s cooking, mix together the diced chicken, diced sausage and the remaining tablespoon of cajun seasoning in a bowl and spread out evenly on a nonstick sheet pan or baking stone. Bake for about 15 minutes, just to get them started in the cooking process and lightly browned. Then add the baked meat to the cooked veggies in your pot along with the rice, stock, hot sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking. Finally, add the shrimp and crawfish and let cook for another 10 minutes, making sure the rice is done and all the meat is cooked through. Add more cajun seasoning, salt, or pepper if needed, and your jambalaya is done!