Carolina Chicken Bog
During my travels outside of the Carolinas I would from time to time decide I needed a taste from home. Often I would announce to my roommates or friends that I was making Chicken Bog and often I got the reply, “What the heck is Chicken Bog?” Through the inquisitive looks of my friends, I felt the uncertainty they had over eating anything with the word “Bog” in it. I would tell them not to worry and that it was my grandmother’s recipe. And inevitably, after having their first taste of Chicken Bog, they would exclaim how awesome the meal was. Often I would find them coming back for second or third helpings!
What exactly is Chicken Bog?
Chicken Bog is comfort food.
Chicken Bog is stick-to-your-ribs goodness!
Yet to put it simply, Chicken Bog is a type of pilaf dish. But it is really much more than that. It is a traditional Carolina meal similar to a chicken pilau or pileau or as some would say, perloo. The difference is that a Chicken Bog is often more moist than a pilau, though not always (this can depend on the cook or region the recipe came from). There are many variations in the recipes as you move across the regions of the Carolinas. Ingredients that recipes call for across the regions have chicken of course but could also include Carolina smoked sausage, onions, bell peppers, fresh garlic, celery, thyme or parsley. In the Lumber River area of North Carolina, many recipes call for adding hard boiled eggs and bacon to the bog My grandmother is from Nichols, SC, deep in the heart of the Pee Dee region and in her recipe the only meat is chicken.
While I have not seen a definitive answer as to where Chicken Bog originated, it is most likely from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. It was traditionally cooked as a meal that could feed a bigger group of people or a large family. In the past, when Chicken Bog was cooked on large cast iron pots over a wood fire, 20 to 30 people could have been fed off of one chicken bog. Today it is still cooked in large quantities for parties or even restaurant buffets yet it is also cooked in smaller quantities for a few people. Many restaurants serve Chicken Bog dishes or are getting innovative by using it in other ways such as making it into a type of fritter or accompaniment. I have even used Chicken Bog to stuff pork chops.
Though I make a great Chicken Bog, I’ve never quite perfected it like my grandmother. Even though I’d follow her recipe, executing each step just like she told me, my Chicken Bog has never reached the perfection of my grandmothers. Maybe it was her patience in de-boning and breaking apart the chicken. Maybe it was in the way she stirred the pot. I may never figure it out but I am so proud and happy that she passed this Carolina tradition down to me. I will always think of her when I make her recipes but especially so when it comes to Chicken Bog.
For Great Chicken Bog Recipes Click Below.