During the Depression in Louisiana it meant, quite literally rice cooked in ham water, then leftovers, or whatever could be sourced were thrown in, the hammy spicy rice was a cheap way to extend the meal.
Don’t worry about being ‘authentic’ or following a strict set of ingredients, the simplified version of this dish is as easy as cooking a pot of rice.
It can be meatless or add meat. No need for sourcing a special sausage, any ground meat or leftovers can be added in. This will make enough for 4 or more folks.
A little oil pour into a pot with a tight fitting lid.
8 cloves of garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
Saute the onion and garlic in oil, add in the celery and pepper when fragrant and continue til soft.
Add a bay leaf and 2 cups of rice, toast the rice in the oil.
If you want to add sausage or chicken or any other meat, now would be the time. Try to keep it to no more than 1 cup.
Shrimp or other seafood
Stir in 1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne (less or more depending on your spice preference)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups liquid. I favor mushroom or vegetable stocks but chicken and ham stock work well.
Bring to a boil, cover tightly and turn to a simmer, set the time for 20 minutes. While your spicy rice is cooking, pour a glass of wine and chop a a couple of cups of green onions.
After 20 minutes keep the lid on and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Scoop out with an ice cream scoop or spoon and cover with green onions.
Keep it simple.