Rice industry to be recognized in Stuttgart

Rice industry to be recognized in Stuttgart

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Governor Asa Hutchinson is to be the keynote speaker at this year's Arkansas Rice Expo on Friday, August 7 at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.

"You want to see what you are eating and you can find out anything you want to know about rice, the production of rice right up to the cooking and then at noon, we also have a free lunch," said Joe Christian, Craighead County farmer. "Free catfish lunch because we grow catfish in the state of Arkansas, too. We're also the largest rice producer in the nation. We grow 50 percent of the rice that's grown in the nation. It drives our economic engine here in Northeast Arkansas."

Leigh Ann Bullington, Cooperative Extension agent for Woodruff County, previewed one of the many cooking demonstrations planned for the one-day event.

"It's a wonderful dish using any kind of meat mixture that you want to," said Leigh Ann Bullington. "It has some chorizo sausage in it and some shrimp."

Here's the recipe:

Sausage and Shrimp Paella

• 1 Tbsp. paprika
• 2 tsp. dried oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-in. pieces
• 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 c. uncooked short-grain white rice
• 1 bay leaf
• 1⁄2 bunch parsley, chopped
• 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 qt. low sodium chicken stock
• 2 lemons, zested
• 1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
• 1 Spanish onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
• 1⁄2 lb. chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled
• 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
• ½ c. sweet peas frozen and thawed
• Lemon wedges for serving


In a medium bowl, mix together paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes and rice. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Stir in bay leaf, parsley, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, lemon zest and saffron threads (optional). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning until both sides are pink. Combine rice and meat mixtures together. Turn up heat for 40 seconds until rice toasts on bottom. Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

Yields 12 (1 cup) servings; 410 calories; 14 g fat; 150 mg chol; 32 g carb; 2 g fiber; 39 g protein

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