Chicken Bog. Chicken Pilau. Chicken Perlo. Chicken Pilaf. While there are many variations (and names) of this dish, Chicken Bog is what it’s always been called at our house. This rustic, homey dish of chicken, rice, and sausage has always been a comfort food. Growing up, it was also pretty economical being that the ingredients are few but it makes a lot.
Many argue that there are actual variations between the Bog, Pilau, and Pilaf versions of the dish and most of them seem to hinge on the amount of liquid in the them. I can’t argue for or against that idea, only that Chicken Bog is what it’s always been at our house and this is the method my mom has used to make it for years.
Now, let’s get to the name. Chicken Bog. Doesn’t exactly sound appetizing, right? I’ll never forget the first time I told my wife, then girlfriend, we were having Chicken Bog for supper. A puzzled look came across her face. “You’re having what?” she asked. “That sounds terrible!” she said.
There are a couple theories behind the moniker. Some say because it’s thick and sticky, it’s called bog. Others claim that the chicken gets bogged down in the rice. Still others say that the name comes from the swampy, bog-like low country area in South Carolina where the dish originated. My mom lived in Florence, South Carolina for a while and picked up the dish from a native South Carolinian. Regardless of what you call it, I just call it delicious.
- 1 (4 to 5 lb) whole chicken
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 (14-ounce) package smoked sausage
- 4 cups long grain rice
- If included, remove and discard the chicken innards. Add the chicken and the neck (if included) to a large stock pot.
- Wash and coarsely chop the celery. Peel and quarter the onion. Peel and smash the garlic with the side of a knife. Add the celery, onion, and garlic to the pot. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper then stir. Simmer the chicken for 40 to 60 minutes or until cooked through, being cautious not to boil. Boiling the chicken will result in dry, tough meat.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Then remove and shred the meat, discard the skin, bones, and neck. Set the meat aside.
- Strain the broth from the pot through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, add the butter and melt. Slice the sausage in 1/3-inch slices and add it to the butter. Cook over medium-low heat to just brown the sausage. Add 8 cups of the reserved broth to the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add the rice and stir well. Add the shredded chicken. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add additional broth if necessary. Serve immediately.