Oh, I do love this time of year! We finally have the backyard looking right… the grass is growing, the annuals are planted, the pool is crystal clear and sparkling (thanks to a new liner and pump [cough] we’re broke again [cough] if those kids didn't love it so much I’d fill it with dirt), the shrubs are pruned, the patio furniture is clean and I just got a brand-spanking-new fire engine red 8-foot picnic table for the deck!
So, you know what all that means right? It’s time to have some people over! I love to entertain! Especially when my shiz is looking straight and I’m feeling all proud. It took Husband and me 3 weekends and about 40'leven trips to the dump to get it all summer-ready. I’m sporting a nasty 2-inch burn on my finger from trying to straighten a bent sawzall blade that got hung up on a magnolia limb and I had to cut all my fingernails off because I got a little happy with a can of spray paint and ended up with oil-rubbed bronze paint all up under my fingernails and it looked like I’d been making biscuits in the litter box.
So anyway, we had some folks over this weekend and I wanted to cook something I could just have sitting on the stove for people to help themselves to when they were ready.
I couldn't make my mind up if I wanted to make a Chicken Bog (similar to Chicken Pilau but "wetter" and not as fluffy) or a Low Country Shrimp Boil. And then I thought why don’t you kinda combine the two? Why not make a chicken bog and add smoked sausage (which I sometimes do anyway) and shrimp and then it will be like a cross between the two?
So that’s what I did and it was so good! And easy! Which is exactly what I wanted. I had everything ready to go then when it looked like people were getting hungry, I cooked the rice then added the shrimp, set out a stack of bowls and bottle of hot sauce and called her done. Holla!
Low Country Chicken Bog
1 32-ounce carton chicken broth (4 cups)
2 cups water
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts*
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1.5-2 pounds small shrimp, peeled
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning**
2 pounds smoked sausage
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 cups uncooked, white rice
Add chicken broth, water, chicken breasts, bay leaf, salt and pepper to a large stock pot and heat over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and slowly simmer chicken for one hour. Discard bay leaf. Remove chicken from stock. Once cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones from chicken breasts and chop chicken into bite-sized pieces or shred with a fork. Add chicken back to pot.
While chicken is cooking, toss shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut smoked sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to pot. Add onion powder, cayenne, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika and rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir well, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add shrimp to pot and gently stir until shrimp is evenly incorporated into rice mixture. Cover, reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
*You can also use a whole chicken. I don’t recommend using boneless, skinless breasts, but if you do, add 5 tablespoons butter when adding smoked sausage and spices.
**If you don’t have Old Bay, substitute blackening seasoning or similar seasoning mixture. If you don’t have any of that, just season with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika.