Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl to make the seasoning mix.
Melt the butter in a heavy 5-quart pot over high heat. When it sizzles, add 1 cup of the onions and cook until they begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining onions, the bell peppers, celery, and seasoning mix. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, rice, and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, re-cover, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Copyright© 1995 by Paul Prudhomme