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Savannah Red Rice

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Ingredients

1 cup rich homemade chicken stock or low-sodium boxed broth

1 cup organic strained tomatoes or tomato juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 Turkish bay leaf, crumbled

2 small whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

2 ounces smoked sliced bacon, diced fine (¼ cup)

1 small yellow onion, minced (½ cup)

¾ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 celery rib, diced small (⅓ cup)

4 ounces small button mushrooms, diced fine (1 cup)

1 garlic clove, minced

7 ounces (1 cup) Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice, rinsed and drained

Directions

  1. Pour the stock and tomatoes or juice into a small nonreactive saucepan. Add the vinegar and bay. Drop the chiles (and any adobo sauce clinging to them) into the pan and mash them against the sides with a wooden spoon. Cover and bring to a simmer on low heat to infuse the flavors and then remove from the heat.
  2. Set a well-seasoned 8- or 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the cold pan and sauté, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and thyme and sauté until golden, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Stir in the celery and cook until barely tender and then increase the heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and the juices have evaporated, about 2 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, bring the stock mixture back up to a simmer. Have a stainless steel, medium-fine-mesh conical strainer and a 9-inch lid wrapped with aluminum foil—to assist with the seal—at the ready. Stir the garlic into the vegetable mixture and sauté until its aroma blooms, about 10 seconds.
  3.  Stir the rice into the vegetables and sauté until the grains are opaque, about 30 seconds. Pour the hot stock through the strainer into the skillet, pushing with the back of a wooden spoon to get every bit of liquid into the rice. Stir the rice, cover tightly with the foil-wrapped lid, and turn down the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes without lifting the lid and then remove the skillet from the heat. Let rest for 10 minutes before uncovering and serving.
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