First, rinse your rice. Always, always. Rinse. Your. Rice. Never rinsed rice before? Youtube.
Then chop all your veggie ingredients (2 ribs celery, 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic).
Next, slice your andouille sausage.
NOW we can ruin the cutting board with raw chicken =) Trim off any fat you don't want and cut it into bite-size pieces. Season it with Cajun seasoning blend and black pepper (If your Cajun seasoning is salt-free, you'll need to salt the chicken too).
Put a tablespoon of oil in your pot on medium-high to high heat. When the oil is screamin' hot, throw in the chicken. Brown it until it's just approaching doneness. It's cool if there's still some pink, just don't like.... eat it yet. Okay? Okay. Set the chicken aside.
Next, brown the sausage. Might need to turn the heat down. You just want to get a nice sear on it real quick. Then set it aside.
Throw in the chopped onion, peppers, and celery. When the veggies start looking translucent, toss in the garlic and then stick your entire face into the pot and SMELL THAT GOODNESS
Add the can of chopped tomatoes. Stir, scraping good shit off the bottom of the pot.
Season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, thyme, the bay leaf, and red pepper flakes (plus any other spicy ingredients you want to throw in there... the hotter, the better).
Add the chicken and sausage back in. Awwwww yeaaaahhhh. Stir it up. Stand back and stare at it for a while. Marvel.
Pour in 3.5 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
As soon as it starts boiling, add 2 cups RINSED rice. Stir, scraping the bottom, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pot and go grab a beer. Stick around, though, because you'll need to stir every so often to keep it from sticking.
It's done when the jambalaya has thickened up and the rice is done. Taste for salt and pepper and additional spiciness boosters. This is the part where I squeezed in an obscene amount of Carolina reaper pepper paste, and I didn't regret THAT the next morning AT ALL.
Serve with LIQUOR. (I'm kiddin, this makes a fine weeknight dinner, but... I'm just sayin, if you happen to be in for a long night of drinking, this dinner has all the protein and carb load you need to soak up all that alcohol)