A co-worker of mine recently stopped by my office and asked me to say the first thing that comes to mind when he says “Chicken Bog”. I really had no reply because my mind started racing to figure out what a Chicken Bog really was. I didn’t want to look dumb but I believe my expression gave me away this time. 🙂
I really thought this had something to do with chicken manure or something for the garden but alas, it has little to do with gardening or manure. I did a quick search this evening for more information about Chicken Bog and this is what I found…
CHICKEN BOG RECIPE
A coastal South Carolina delicacy with chicken, sausage, and rice – This authentic recipe was contributed by the Loris Chamber of Commerce.
6 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 onion, chopped
1 (3 pound) whole chicken
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced
2 tablespoons Italian-style seasonings
2 cubes chicken bouillon
Place water, salt and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring all to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite size pieces.
Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning and bouillon to this saucepan. Cook all together for 30 minutes; let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, keeping pan covered the whole time. If mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.
What is a Chicken Bog? “While anecdotal evidence exists that the name ‘chicken bog’ was related to the “boggy” nature of its home, the Pee Dee, in his book Stews, Bogs and Burgoos, southern writer, James Villas claims that a ‘bog’ (unlike a pilau) is any stew that includes wet, soggy rice. ‘Pilau’ more commonly know as pilaf is a dish consisting of sautéed and seasoned or steamed rice often prepared with meat, shellfish or vegetables.
Karen Hess, author of the benchmark work, The Carolina Rice Kitchen, describes chicken bog as “a pilau made in large batches, which would always cause it to end up wet.” Culinary historian Damon Lee Fowler defines chicken bog as “a highly localized form of pilau, probably of African provenance, in the U.S. found only in South Carolina.” Traditionally, the only ingredients are chicken, rice, sausage, and onions, seasoned with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Whether a bog is a bog or a soggy pilau, this one-course dish remains the stuff of South Carolina legends. The bog even has its own festival, the annual Loris Bog-Off Festival, which pits bog chefs against each other in an annual chicken bog cooking contest. Started in 1979 and held every October, the festival features a parade, arts, crafts, games, local bands and gospel singing. See our Festivals & Events listings for great SC food festivals held year round.