Party Jambalya

I still am not sure what the difference is between gumbo and jambalaya, but we (meaning my roommates and myself during the days of the Polar Vortex 2 in Chiberia) found this recipe and decided to make it. This was a group effort!

Making the Jumbalya:


  • ~ 1 lb of boneless chicken thigh
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 garlic gloves (minced)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can of tomatoes (14.5 oz) and a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large turkey sausages
  • 2 spoons of sugar
  • a big dash of Italian seasoning
  • a small dash of Cayenne pepper
  • a dash of salt
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Orzo (3 cups)
  • a Trader Joe’s Bag of Shrimp

The prep time for this meal was one I as surprised to find took so long, the majority of the reason being that I am not as quick of a cutter of objects as I would like. First I washed and cut the celery into thin pieces. Then, I cut the onion into 1/2 inch pieces. Then I minced the garlic, followed by cleaning and cutting the chicken into 2 inch pieces (I bought a packaged that said 1.76 lbs and I used all but 2 thighs, I think that made it to 1 lb). Once all of this was in the crock pot, I then added the tomatoes and cut in some cherry tomatoes. Because of our lack of table and teaspoons in the apartment, I decided to use a spoon, as in a normal spoon. I did two spoon scoops of sugar, followed by two dashes (as in I shook the container up and down twice across the crock pot) of Italian seasoning, one dash of salt, and one small dash of Cayenne.

At this point, I left the crock pot on what I believed to be low and ran out to take Zen (our stray cat that thinks she is a dog) to the vet. Upon returning, I walked in to find my very logical and most sane roommate holding the plug of the crock pot laughing and plugging it in. Yes, I forgot to even turn on the crock pot. So, we made a decision to plug it in and put it on high for the next 2.5 hours. Then we put the jambalaya on low for the next 5.5 hours. After a total of 4.5 hours (this includes the time at high and the time at low), we added the two turkey sausages. Now the addition of turkey sausage was not because the recipe called for it, but more that we had invited friends over and realized we would not have enough food if we just did the shrimp. So in a complete moment of “uh -oh spaghettios”, turkey sausages were added in (we wanted chicken but couldn’t find anything being Super Bowl weekend).

The final and last steps happened after the whole 8 hours of cooking in the crock pot. On low shrimp was added to the jambalaya mix. As the shrimp was mixing in, Orzo was being made on the stove. I am gluten free due to stomach issues, and that day I learned that Orzo was made from a wheat. So, usually this is included in the jambalaya, but because I cannot eat it, we kept it all separate. My roommate’s, the one who found my un-cooking crock pot early in the day, boyfriend stepped up to the task of making the Orzo. At this point, all of the females in the apartment were getting ready for the evening, so he did a great job (and I have no idea how much he used because I was getting dressed) at making an amazing Orzo that accompanied the jambalaya.


This was the first dish I made for others, and I got very positive reviews.  Mind you, the crowd was eating food I made on my birthday so… would they have criticized it?

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Spices – in the house (one of my roommates actually cooks)
  • Total Cost: $65.00
  • People served: 8
  • Preparation: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 10.5 hrs – This includes all of the hiccups I encountered

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