I’ve been making jambalaya and gumbo for many years, and this recipe has never let me down. While traditional jambalaya calls for lots of bacon and lard, I substitute neutral oil and instead of bacon, I add more andouille sausage. Equally as unconventional, I like to add okra to my jambalaya. I love the way it tastes, and it adds a nice texture to the dish. I make two batches because it can be time consuming and it makes a great second dinner during the week, plus it freezes well. Serve with warm cornbread and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.


  • 1/4 cup chicken fat, pork lard, or neutral oil, divided
  • 1.5-ounce package andouille sausage
  • Medium onion, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped about 1 1/2 cups
  • Large bell pepper, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 poblano for extra heat, chopped, optional
  • 2 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 2 16-ounce canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pound fresh or frozen okra (not traditional)
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 cups seafood stock, water, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce or more to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 18-24 medium size shrimp, shells removed and deveined
  • 1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 18 oysters, shucked with liquor, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked, long grain rice
  • Cornbread, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add oil or fat to large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add andouille sausage and sauté until browned, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Remove sausage and set aside.
  3. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and poblano, if using, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir often and scrape pan bottom.
  4. Add chicken. Increase heat to high and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and then add garlic, Tabasco, bay leaves, herbs and seasonings. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping pan bottom.
  6. Add tomatoes. Cook until chicken is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, cook 5-7 minutes, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  7. Stir in stock, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add green onions and add back in cooked andouille sausage. Simmer 2 more minutes, stirring once or twice.
  8. Add rice and okra and stir well. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender.
  9. Add in shrimp and oysters, cover and cook 2 more minutes only. The shrimp and oysters should be cooked perfectly. You will know when the shrimp is cooked when it is bright pink or orange with no opacity and slightly curled. Be sure not to overcook these delicate ingredients.
  10. Serve with a bottle of Tabasco on the side, and warm cornbread with honey butter.