Ozarks Jambalaya

The History of Jambalaya

The first is Creole jambalaya (also called “red jambalaya”). First, meat is added to the trinity of celery, peppers, and onions; the meat is usually chicken and sausage such as andouille or smoked sausage. Next vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, followed by seafood. Rice and stock are added in equal proportions at the very end. The mixture is brought to a boil and left to simmer for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the recipe, with infrequent stirring. Towards the end of the cooking process, stirring usually ceases. Some versions call for the jambalaya to be baked after the cooking of all the ingredients.

The second style, more characteristic of southwestern and south-central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya, which contains no tomatoes (the idea being the farther away from New Orleans one gets, the less common tomatoes are in dishes). The meat is browned in a cast-iron pot. The bits of meat that stick to the bottom of the pot are what give a Cajun jambalaya its brown color. A little vegetable oil is added if there is not enough fat in the pot. The trinity (of 50% onions, 25% celery, and 25% green or red bell pepper, although proportions can be altered to suit one’s taste) is added and sautéed until soft. Stock and seasonings are added in the next step, and then the meats are returned to the pot. This mixture is then simmered, covered, for at least one hour. Lastly, the mixture is brought to a boil, and rice is added to the pot. It is then covered and left to simmer over very low heat for at least 1/2 hour without stirring. The dish is finished when the rice has cooked.

My Version

My version is a little mix of the two, we shall call it the Ozarks Jambalaya! My style is a browning the meat in a hot skillet and setting it to the side. Adding all the vegetables and sautéed until soft. Then we add the chicken stock and tomatoes and let this simmer down for about 10-15 minutes. Then adding the rice to the mixture an simmering, covered for around 20 minutes. Lastly, I add back in the meats and it is ready.

Jambalaya vs. Gumbo

What is the difference between jambalaya and gumbo you ask? Good question. Jambalaya is more like paella, in a way – primarily a rice dish. Gumbo is usually a roux-thickened stew, typically containing either poultry and sausage or seafood, although there are many variations. Gumbo usually always has okra as well and seems to be more of a soup.

What To Serve With Jambalaya?

My choice would be a sweet cornbread or biscuits. Jambalaya is a very stick to your bones meal and is great anytime of the year.

Ozarks Jambalaya

A hearty stick to your bones meal
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course


  • 3 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 1 Pound Andouille Sausage
  • 3 Small Bell Peppers, cored, diced
  • 2 Ribs Celery diced
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 White Onion diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic peeled, minced
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3-4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Tbl. Cajun Seasoning Slap Ya Mama
  • 1 Tsp. Thyme
  • 1/4 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Pound Raw Large Shrimp peeled,deveined


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sausage and brown for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sausage is lightly browned. Place to the side.
  • In a stock pot add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all the vegetables and garlic, then saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally till they are soft.
  • Add the chicken stock and the crushed tomatoes to the pot with vegetables. Add cajun seasoning, thyme, and cayenne. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add rice, cover and simmer for another 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked through, stiirring every 5 minutes or so along the way so that the rice does not burn.
  • Add the shrimp, chicken and sausage. Stir to combine and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink.
  • Taste and season the jambalaya with salt and pepper, and additional Slap Ya Mama seasoning if needed. I prefer a little more spicy jambalaya, you can use only 1 jalapeno if you want a more milder dish.

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