Deb's Down Home Jambalaya

Deb Kotansky Recipe

By Deb Kotansky Deb77

Stove Top

This recipe has been in my family for over 40 years. I have changed some things from my Mom's version. Her's called for a lot of dried ingredients that I now choose to use fresh for. I won a contest with this a few years ago. It does take some time and work, but it is sooooo worth it! Don't let all those steps down there scare ya! 9 - 15 are just my tips!!!

pinch tips: Basic Knife Skills

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Delicious served over rice or straight from a soup bowl! The spices are just right - not too overwhelming. Can't wait to make this one again!


1 small
1/2 lb
cooked ham
1/2 lb
smoked sausage
1 large
onion, diced
2 Tbsp
minced garlic (i use the jar kind, in oil)
1 small
green bellpepper, diced
1 small
red bellpepper, diced
1 Tbsp
1 lb
can diced tomatoes (juice too)
1 can(s)
diced rotel tomatoes (optional)
2 Tbsp
parsley flakes
1 or 2
bay leaves
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
cayenne pepper (more if you like or dare)
salt to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 lb
medium, peeled, deveined shrimp
cooked white rice

Directions Step-By-Step

Boil and debone chicken, reserving all broth. I strain my broth and set aside. Sometimes I cook the chicken the day before and put broth in fridge. This way, I can skim off all of the extra fat.
Cut sausage into small circles and cut up ham into small pieces. In a large skillet, brown sausage and ham. Cook for a while until most of the grease is cooked out. Remove meat from skillet. Add just enough chicken broth to cover bottom of skillet and stir, getting the brown drippings from the skillet stirred in (deglaze the pan, as my husband says). Add onion and bellpeppers. Saute until tender and add garlic at the end.
Stir in flour. I never measure the flour, just stir in small smounts until liquid is absorbed. I usually transfer this mixture into a large stock pot at this time.
Add remaining chicken broth and bring back up to temperature... hot, not necessarily boiling. You want a lot of juice, so you can add water or canned chicken broth as needed. I use the canned broth first and then a little water if needed.
Add tomatoes (juice included), parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf(s), thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil.
Add chicken, sausage and ham. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about an hour... stirring occassionally.
Add shrimp about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve in a bowl over cooked white rice so you can get a lot of the juice. We eat regular saltine crackers with it. The crackers seem to be the right flavor combination for this.
MY TIPS: I never measure anything. I just put as much of what I like into it. I love the sausage and the shrimp the best, so I usually add more of those.
This makes alot, especially when you increase the ingredients, so I usually cook it in a large stock pot.
I add a can of rotel, mostly for that little bit of spice. We love it a little spicy, so I add more cayenne. Most of the time I add 2 bay leaves.
This recipe originally called for adding the rice raw and letting it cook with the jambalya.. DON'T!!!! That will make it thick and the juice is really good, so just pour in OVER the rice.
Do yourself a favor and buy medium shrimp already peeled and deveined. I buy the frozen, cooked ones with the tails on. Thaw them and all you have to do is remove the tails which doesn't take long.
You can wait until close to the end to add the chicken, but I think it will shred no matter when you add it.
This always tastes better the next day, when the spices have set in overnight. You can freeze it if you want. I usually take some out BEFORE addng the shrimp to freeze if I know I have more than I need. Then for a quick meal, all I have to do is add some shrimp and cook some rice.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Chicken, Pork
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Cajun/Creole
Collection: Mardi Gras!

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Kitchen Crew JustaPinch
Apr 14, 2011
Janet awarded this recipe a Blue Ribbon!

Delicious served over rice or straight from a soup bowl! The spices are just right - not too overwhelming. Can't wait to make this one again!
Apr 14, 2011 - Kitchen Crew shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Deb Kotansky Deb77
Apr 15, 2011
Thanks so much! Your picture of it makes me want some NOW! lol.. I am glad you liked it.
Deb Kotansky Deb77
Apr 16, 2011
One thing though... We usually serve it in bowls with lots of the juice over the rice... just the way we like it.
May 23, 2011 - Deb Kotansky shared this recipe with discussion group: TRIED & TRUE RECIPES
Susan Brumett DiamondSue
Dec 18, 2012
This sounds absolutely wonderful! Can't wait to try it!
Deb Kotansky Deb77
Jan 5, 2013
Hope you love it as much as we do Susan! Thanks :)
Janice Ross upthecountryjan
Feb 7, 2013
Congratulations on your blue ribbon. Down south on the Gulf Coast and in Louisiana we serve our gumbo over rice and our jambalaya is all cooked together with the rice. I guess we're lucky because we never use frozen shrimp instead we go to the Bayou and get it fresh off the boat. If you have some crabmeat add it to your dish...really good! I like anything with shrimp in it!! The recipe sounds good though! Congratulations on your ribbon!!! I will try it and I'm sure I'll love it!
Shelia Senghas earthbaker
Feb 8, 2013
Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, and a File Gumbo. Lived in LA. for awhile and loved the Cajun foods. This is bound to be delicious. Saving for the future. Thanks and happy cooking.
Deb Kotansky Deb77
Feb 9, 2013
Thanks! Hope you all enjoy!
Karen Morris Chickenlips
Feb 10, 2013
I'm going to cook this next week. First we need to finish chicken I made. Sounds so yummy!
Jan 17, 2014
Hi Deb, Sure did like your Jambalaya. And congratulations on winning the blue ribbon.
Deb Kotansky Deb77
Jan 18, 2014
So happy you liked it. Thanks :)
Feb 23, 2015 - Bobby Webb shared this recipe with discussion group: "HOW'S YOUR WEATHER".