Savannah Red Rice

Serves 6 as a side dish

¾ Cup smoked bacon, diced

¾ Cup Riceland Brand Medium Grain Rice

¾ Cup sweet onion, diced

1 ea celery stalk, diced

1 ea red bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 Cup chicken stock

1 ¼ Cups canned tomato puree

1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce

2 ea sprigs of thyme

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 ea scallions, sliced thinly

1 ea lemon, juiced

2 Tablespoons butter

Heat a 4 qt heavy bottom Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and allow it to render until golden brown and crisp. Stir in the rice and combine it with the fat in the bottom of the pan. Make sure the rice grains are nicely coated and then cook for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and cook for approximately 5 more minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock, thyme sprigs, salt, black pepper, hot sauce and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to very low and allow the rice to cook for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat, but do not remove the lid. Allow the rice to sit for 15 more minutes off the heat. Remove the lid, discard the thyme sprigs, and add the lemon juice, butter, and scallions. Adjust the seasoning with more salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serve immediately.