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Charleston Red Rice

Red Rice is a lowcountry icon and is many times associated with Charleston. This cultural dish is almost synonymous with the Gullah or Geechee people and heritage that are still prevalent throughout the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. The main component of the dish consists of the cooking of white rice with crushed tomatoes instead of water and small bits of bacon or smoked pork sausage. Celery, bell peppers, and onions are the traditional vegetables used for seasoning. Of course in recent times, there are many variations. Here is my recipe and many times I will add chopped chicken from a rotisserie or seared shrimp to make it a main dish rather than a side dish.

You will need

1 cup Carolina Gold Rice

1/2 cup sweet onion ( I prefer vidalia) chopped

1 tbsp butter

olive oil to cover bottom of pot

2 cups chicken stock

2 fresh tomatoes chopped with juices saved ( the best way to do this is chop the tomato’s ahead of time, put in bowl with a tsp of salt, toss and set for an hour)

Chopped parsley ( optional)

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pot, add the rice and toast it for about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 2 minutes or so for the flavors to blend and the onion is translucent. Do NOT walk away from the stove, be careful not to burn the rice. Add the chicken stock, stir and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes , cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit another 10 minutes, salt and pepper to taste and give it a good stir before serving. I like to add another touch of butter at the end as well. Garnish with some chopped parsley.

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