½poundfully cooked smoked sausage, such as andouille, cut into ¼-inch slices
¾poundlarge shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
In a medium bowl or canister, combine the rice, onion, parsley, bouillon, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and bay leaf. Stir to fully mix. (This mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)
In a Dutch oven or a large heavy bottom saucepan, combine the rice mixture with the rest of the ingredients, minus the shrimp. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf and serve while hot.