Red Rice-Smoked Chicken Perloo

Perloo is a comforting one-pot rice dish that is beloved throughout the Lowcountry and other coastal areas of the South. Ashleigh Shanti, the chef behind Benne on Eagle, a James Beard Award-nominated restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina, gives it her own spin by adding bacon, smoked chicken, white wine, smoked paprika, and plenty of bell peppers. In the recipe, Shanti calls for red rice, an aromatic medium-grain rice, but you can substitute another type of rice instead, as long as it is medium-grain. Like a risotto, stock is added gradually to the rice and vegetable mixture, making it rich and creamy. While this does require some time spent at the stove-top stirring, the recipe is easy to make and the flavor and texture is completely worth the effort. Plus, you’ll have enough Red Rice-Smoked Chicken Perloo to feed a crowd, or plenty of tasty leftovers to enjoy all week long.

Ashleigh Shanti's Red Rice-Smoked Chicken Perloo
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Prop Styling: Kendra Surface; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Cook Time:
10 mins
Active Time:
95 mins
Total Time:
105 mins
Servings:
8

Ingredients

  • 8 cups unsalted chicken stock

  • ½ cup bacon, diced (1 to 2 bacon slices)

  • 4 large celery stalks, diced (about 2 cups)

  • 3 medium-size (10- to 12-oz.) red bell peppers, diced (about 4 cups)

  • 2 large (12- to 14-oz.) yellow onions, diced (about 8 cups)

  • 2 cups uncooked red rice (or other heritage variety)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp.)

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 cups shredded smoked chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1 bunch)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium; cover and remove from heat. Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium; add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, reserving drippings in skillet. Add celery, bell peppers, and onions to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Add rice and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Stir in wine, paprika, and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is completely absorbed, about 1 minute.

  2. Add 2 cups stock to mixture in skillet. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 15 minutes. Repeat process using remaining 6 cups stock, adding 2 cups at a time and stirring until absorbed between additions.

  3. Stir chicken into mixture in skillet; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, butter, pepper, reserved bacon, and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Garnish with scallions.

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