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Low Country Pilau with Shrimp & Georgia Pecans



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6 strips bacon, halved
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups long grain rice, well rinsed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
3 sprigs parsley plus 2 tbsp. chopped
3 1/2 cups water
2 tsp. vegetable oil, separated
1 cup Georgia pecan halves
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and cleaned


  1. 1
    In a large Dutch oven cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and lightly browned. Remove bacon strips and set aside. Add onion and green pepper to bacon drippings in heavy saucepan and sauté until softened about 5 minutes.
  2. 2
    Add the pepper flakes and half the garlic to onion mixture and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice, thyme, bay leaf, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley sprigs and water and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. 3
    Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tsp. oil over medium heat. Add the pecans, chili powder and a pinch of salt. Cook just until pecans are toasted and fragrant; remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. 4
    Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet. Stir in remaining garlic, the shrimp and a pinch of salt. Sauté until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Remove skillet from heat and cover to keep shrimp warm.
  5. 5
    When rice is cooked, remove parsley sprigs and bay leaf. Stir half the shrimp and pecans into rice, then transfer mixture to a large serving platter. Top platter with remaining shrimp, pecans, the chopped parsley and finally the reserved strips of bacon. Serve immediately.

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cuisines North & South American, Southern & Soul Food
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