- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 small bell peppers (combination of green, red, yellow or orange), chopped
- ½ – 1 jalapeno, cored, seeded and diced (depending on desired spiciness)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 14-ounce package of smoked sausage, sliced bite sized
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- Homemade Cajun spice blend (see below)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound raw shrimp, deveined and tail removed
- 1 + 1/4 cup okra (optional)
- Green onions and fresh parsley leaves to garnish (optional)
CAJUN SPICE BLEND – MIX TOGETHER:
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like spicy foods!)
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large heavy pan with a lid. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and sauté over medium-high heat, until they start to get tender.
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add another two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan with the veggies. Fold in the chicken and smoked sausage. Continue to sauté everything until the chicken is almost cooked and no longer pink.
- Add in the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and Cajun seasoning blend to taste. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients. Add two bay leaves. Cover the pan with a lid and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until the rice is fully cooked and tender, about 25 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Fold in the shrimp and okra if using. Cover the pan again and allow the shrimp to cook until done.
- Once done, remove the two bay leaves from the pot. Do a taste test to see if you want to add additional salt, pepper, or increase the heat with more cayenne pepper!
Garnish with green onions and fresh parsley, if desired.