Since living in South Carolina, I haven't really been able to pin point a dish or staple that really sings the Carolina spirit loud and proud. So, I got to researchin'!!!
What did I find???
Well, ever since a ship made it's way into the Charles Towne harbor back in the 1680's, rice has been a big part of the South Carolina way of life. I know, of all foods, rice! One of the main dishes that I noticed every where I looked was some sort of "Chicken Bog." 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. There's even a yearly festival dedicated to this dish!
Louisiana has Crawfish festivals, Maryland has Apple Butter Festivals, Florida has Strawberry Festivals, and South Carolina has Bog-Off Festivals. Crazy travels that's for sure!
What was the dish?
Well it's quite simple and almost too good to be true. It honestly reminds me of making Jambalaya but it's different. Weird I know. We like it a lot but we found ourselves comparing it to Jambalaya. But in all honesty, we'll never ever grow tired of that Cajun kick.
So here's how it all went...
1 2.5 pound chicken, quartered
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp seasoned salt (I used Emeril's original essence)
1/2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 bay leaves
4 cups water
1/4 pound smoked sausage, cut long wise and slice
1 T olive oil
1.5 cups brown rice
In a big stock pot, toss in the first 9 ingredients and boil at a low heat until the chicken is cooked through. Then remove the chicken to cool.
While the chicken is cooling, brown the sausage with the olive oil in a separate pan. Once brown, toss the rice and the sausage in the stock pot and bring to a boil. Set to a low simmer for 45 minutes or so.
While the pot is simmering, de-bone the chicken and cut into chunks. Once the rice is finished, remove the bay leaves and stir in the chicken.
Mine: I like it because it was more in depth than plain old chicken and rice, but not as
complex as Jambalaya.
Mike: He likes it, but prefers Jambalaya over it because of the extra kick it offers.
Overall: It's a keeper for those nights that we want something easy and one-pot-style.
Plus, the ingredients are always something that we'll have on hand.
AND...Mike can cook it too...That's even better!!!
Not only did we add another really simple and belly rumbling meal to our list of favorites, but we learned something too. Maybe next year we'll be able to make our way to the Bog-Off Festival.
Official South Carolina Dining Site and American Rice, Inc.