¼ cup small dice bacon, preferably Benton’s bacon
1/3 cup dried shrimp
1¼ cups very finely diced sweet onion
1 cup very finely diced celery
1 cup very finely diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
4 cups water
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 fresh bay leaf
1¼ cups Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 pound lump blue crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons grated crab roe bottarga (mullet bottarga works as a substitute)
Put the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the bacon starts to soften and the fat renders, about 1 minute. Add the dried shrimp and stir for 1 minute. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the stove and set aside.
Combine the water, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, pepper and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and stir to be sure the salt has dissolved completely. Reduce the heat to medium; add the rice; stir once and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a clean medium saucepan. Dice 4 tablespoons of butter and stir into rice. Remove from the stove and cover to keep warm.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter until foamy in a large skillet over high heat. Add the bacon-and-shrimp mixture and crab. Cook gently without stirring, until the butter begins to brown and the crab is hot and crispy, about 4 minutes. Lightly fold in the lemon juice. Divide the rice among six plates and sprinkle it with chives, evenly divided. Spoon the cooked crab on top; finish by sprinkling with bottarga.