1poundof shrimppeeled, deveined with tails removed
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 of the tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell peppers, garlic and (jalapeño, optional). Saute for 5 minutes, stirring until the vegetables are soft. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, chicken and sausage, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and (cayenne,optional) and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add shrimp and okra and stir to combine. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked and no longer pink, 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
The most distinctive feature of jambalaya is undeniably its spiciness. However, how spicy you end up making this dish is entirely up to you.
For those of you who are not big on spicy, I think this dish would still be quite tasty on the mild side.However, if you love your jambalaya so spicy that your eyes water, you can add jalapeño peppers with the vegetables in the beginning, then cayenne pepper flakes when you add the other spices, and even a teaspoon of Sriracha at the very end when the dish is done cooking. My family tried it both ways, and we found that the cajun seasoning and spicy andouille sausage were hot enough for us.
Jambalaya is traditionally served with rice. I recommend this gluten-free spicy jambalaya rice mix from Zatarains. All of my kids loved it.
If you are cutting back on carbs, cauliflower rice makes a wonderful substitute for rice. You can find my recipe for cauliflower rice here. It turned out beautifully with the jambalaya.