The dish looks as if the cook went on a binge the night before, but legend has it one Yankee officer liked it so much he switched uniforms. It's called Chicken Bog, and it's a conglomeration of rice spices and chicken, topped with bacon. To Pee Dee natives, the dish is as traditional on Fourth of July and other holidays as barbecue and cole slaw is to the rest of the south.
A distant, but more savory cousin of pilau, Chicken Bog combines the best qualities of both chicken & rice. Cooked properly, the chicken is juicy and tender and piqued with spices. The rice assumes the flavor of the chicken and other ingredients, and in best Southern style, the grains don't stick together. Chicken Bog apparently gets it's name because the "chicken is bogged in rice." An out-of-stater, who now claims South Carolina as her home, however claims it is named so because it is a "boggy, soggy mess." (It's a favorite dish of hers however.)
The recipe is liked by many Palmetto State residents because it is easy to prepare; it can accommodate large crowds (10 or more people); and can be served formally or informally. One Darlington native remembers when men cooked Chicken Bog on the banks of the Pee Dee River in big black iron pots and served it with butter beans, artichoke relish, and tomatoes. "That's all we had on holidays," she recalls, "and it was the best thing ever." Old-timers believe that is probably had its origin years ago at the tobacco barns or warehouses since it was served traditionally at the barn supper, usually held at the season.
A well known cook of this dish is Mrs. M. Chisollm Wallace of Florence's Red Doe Plantation. Mrs. Wallace's recipe has been carefully reproduced here so that this specialty dish can be enjoyed by all sandlappers. She says, "We like it. With a little bit of cole slaw, it's a meal in itself."
When chicken is very tender, take from stove and let cool until you can handle the chicken; take chicken from pot; pull meat from bones in large pieces (do not cut up); discard and fat heavy skin. Pour broth from pot into a bowl (if chicken was very fat and broth is very fat, pour off about 1 cup of fat from broth).
Boil chicken and onions in 4 c. water until tender. If desired, debone chicken. Slice sausage in 1/2" pieces, add sausage, pepper and rice to chicken. Simmer until all broth is absorbed and rice is cooked. Serves 8.
Recipe by: Come and Get It! by Jr. Welfare League of Talladega,
Al Measure 6 cups of water, salt, onion, and chicken. Boil until tender.
(About 1 hour.) Remove chicken, let cool and remove bones.
Chop meat in bite-sized pieces. Skim off fat from juices. Measure 3 1/2
cups of this broth into a 6-qt saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces and smoked
sausage, herb seasoning
and "chicken and herb" seasoning. Cook these ingredients for 30 mins. Let come to a boil and turn to low, keeping covered the entire time. If rice mixture is too juicy, cook uncovered until desired consistency. Yield: 6 servings. Originally submitted to book by Mrs. Claxton Ray of Conway, S.C.
1 whole onion
2 ribs celery, washed and snapped in halves or quarters (leaves and all)
2 carrots, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 bay leaves
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1 (3 to 3.5 pound) whole chicken
2 1/2 cups long-grain rice
2 tablespoons butter
In a large soup pot, kettle, or deep-sided heavy casserole with top, put onion, celery, carrots, poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Rinse the chicken and place on top of the other ingredients in the pot. Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until juices run clear when the chicken is pricked with a fork. Remove chicken to a platter to cool. Strain broth from pot (you should have about 8 cups; if you have more, set aside for another use).
Return 8 cups broth to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour in rice and return to a boil. Adjust heat to lowest possible setting, stir and cover. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping an eye on the pot to be sure it does not cook dry. Add more of the broth if necessary - I usually add about another cup.
While the rice is cooking, skin and remove chicken meat from the bones; discard bones and skin. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
When the rice is cooked, add the boneless chicken and butter. Stir together carefully, taste to correct seasoning and serve. Or keep pot covered over low heat until ready to serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Per serving (with 2 teaspoons butter per serving): 60 calories, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 43 milligrams sodium, 60 percent calories from fat.