Jambalaya for a Crowd

Sometimes life is like a puzzle.  Needing to make a meal for a Kaleidoscope family, no kids or teens involved, something that could be stashed in the fridge or freezer if there is an unexpected turn in the cancer treatment, and a 2 pound bag of shrimp in the freezer calling out my name.  Oh yeah, and a newish New Orleans cookbook hanging out on the shelf.  The decision became clear: should I make jambalaya or, um, jambalaya?  Jambalaya it is!

This version is truly enough for a full crowd of friends ready for a good meal.  I was a bit worried in that the ingredients and directions are so straight forward.  There was no secret ingredient, no fantastically original cooking method, nothing to show that this would be simply perfect.  This just has the perfect proportions of delicious ingredients with classic cooking techniques.  And really, isn’t that what we’re looking for in a classic dish like jambalaya anyways?

Jambalaya for a Crowd

adapted from the book Gumbo Shop: Traditional and Contemporary Creole Cuisine by Richard Stewart

Serves at least 12    |      Jambalaya for a Crowd (printable version)


1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into ¼ inch rounds

1 large onion, chopped

1 large or 2 med. Green peppers, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped,

5 cloves garlic, diced

2 16 oz cans petit diced tomatoes

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

1 cup long grain rice

3 cups stock (from step 1 below, cooking the chicken)

2 lbs peeled raw shrimp


1. Cover the chicken with water ans set over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and reserve the stock. When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin and break into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottom dutch oven over a medium heat, saute the sausage in the oil until lightly browned. Remove from pot and set aside with the chicken pieces. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper to the pot and saute until just tender. Add the diced tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot.

3. Stir in the rice and mix well. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved chicken stock, bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add the sausage and chicken and cook uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, stirring into the jambalaya and cook until they are just pink.


  • If you are squeamish about cutting up a chicken, this is a great place to learn since the chicken will be shredded anyways.
  • Did I mention the yum factor?
  • If you’ve never even made jambalaya before, this will still feel wonderfully familiar to you.  Its just one of those cozy meals.
  • Why is the title Jambalaya for a Crowd show this simple one person serving?  After delivering loads of jambalaya to the Kaleidoscope family and eating dinner at home, this was all I had for a photo to share.  Be lucky there was anything at all to share!

One response to “Jambalaya for a Crowd

  1. Sounds like a great recipe. Now I have to go buy that cookbook too 🙂

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