September 29, 2021

Carolina Chicken Bog

A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 25-30 servings!

This dish is something I spent my whole life thinking everybody on earth knew about and loved. And if not on the whole planet, then in the US, at least. 

But nope.

Then I thought it was a Southern thing.

But nope.

Evidently, it’s something specific to the Carolinas, South Carolina more so than North.

Of course, I also thought everybody else ate onion sausage and boiled peanuts too so what do I know?

This isn’t just something we fix for supper around here (though we do that plenty), making a Chicken Bog is often something you do when you’ve got company coming. Or, if you’re making one, it’s the reason you have company over.

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

WHAT IS CHICKEN BOG?

The most basic answer is that it’s a one-pot rice dish made with chicken stock, chicken and smoked sausage. 

There’s another dish common to these parts called Chicken Pilau or Chicken Perlo (same thing, different spelling, both pronounced PER-lō) that’s pretty-much the same but made with a little less liquid so it finishes a little drier.

Whereas the Chicken Bog is almost creamy because it uses a more liquid and is somewhat, well, boggy. NOTE: I screwed around and spilled a good bit of my chicken stock so this one finished a little drier than usual. The next time I make it, I will update the photos so you can see the slight difference.

Like with all regional recipes, there are lots of variations. I’ve had some chicken bogs that are almost soupy and eat like a stew, I’ve had some that are dry and fluffy. 

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

One of my friend’s mama actually makes a roux for hers so it’s really, really creamy. One of my friends puts pinto beans in his (which surprised me the first time I saw it but I LOVE it). I’ve seen folks add Cream of Something soup to it to make it extra “boggy”. I’ve seen it with sliced boiled eggs stirred in at the end. 

To some, Chicken Bog and Chicken Pilau (perlo) are the same. To others, they’re distinctly different. And you know what? It is whatever you want it to be. Call it whatever you want. Just call me to the table when it’s done because I’m gonna eat some!

Well, before we get to loosey goosey and fancy free, I need to clarify a little bit. I’ve seen folks outside of the Carolinas make references to Jambalaya and even Dirty Rice when they see this. This is not either of those things. I’m sure any good cook from the Bayou will be happy to tell you the same.

Jambalaya has more spices, bell peppers and tomatoes (well, cajun jambalaya doesn’t have tomatoes, just creole, but no need to get too off topic…) and is more involved to prepare. Dirty Rice typically has chicken livers or ground bulk sausage and usually green stuff like bell peppers, celery and parsley. 

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

HOW DO YOU SERVE CHICKEN BOG?

The only must-have thing to serve with your Chicken Bog is hot sauce. We use Texas Pete around here (which, ironically, is made in North Carolina, not Texas) which is similar to Frank’s RedHot or Crystal.

When I make it for company, I just leave the pot on the stove, set out bowls and hot sauce and let everyone help themselves when they’re ready. When we have it for supper, I use plates and typically serve a Southern pea like black-eyes, crowders or field peas and some fresh sliced garden tomatoes.

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE REDUCED OR DOUBLED? YES!

TO REDUCE: use 1 small (3-lb) chicken, 1 lb smoked sausage, 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups rice. Adjust seasoning and butter accordingly then cook the same.

TO DOUBLE: For experienced rice cooks only

  1. If you’re not a veteran or you struggle with preparing stove-top rice, I don’t recommend trying to cook this big of a batch (not everyone has the knack for it and that’s OK! when I die my tombstone will either say 'was a gifted gravy maker' or 'well-known for cooking good rice' and yours will probably say something way cooler).
  2. Ensure you have a pot that can handle it. You will need a WIDE pot (at least 12-in wide) with a THICK heavy-duty bottom and tight-fitting lid to ensure the rice cooks properly. The pot I cook my big batch in is 10-quarts.
  3. If you’re confident you have the right pot for the job and know God blessed you with good rice cooking genes, double all ingredients then cook the same. Use a grilling fork or flat-head wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot occasionally to make sure the rice isn’t sticking but (and you know this or you wouldn’t be on Step 3), do NOT overwork or over-stir the rice.

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • I don’t recommend it, but you can use boneless, skinless breasts (3 lbs). You will need to add a stick of butter to the broth while they’re cooking and you will only need to cook them about 20 minutes. Because the breasts will not put off as much liquid as a whole chicken, measure the broth before adding to the sausage to ensure you have about 8 cups – if not, add more broth or water.
  • You can use boneless, skinless thighs (3 lbs) OR bone-in, skin-on breasts (4 lbs) too but only add 1/2 stick of butter. Cook for about an hour and check to make sure you have enough broth as instructed above.
  • Bone-in, skin-on thighs (4 lbs) can be substituted for the whole chicken with no changes made other than to check to make sure you have enough broth as instructed above.

Carolina Chicken Bog! A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.

  • Kielbasa or andouille can be substituted for the smoked sausage. My preference is traditional Hillshire Farms smoked sausage (not all beef).
  • If I'm out of celery or bay leaves, I don't make a special trip to the store for them. They're just used as aromatics to flavor the stock. Carrots can be added too.  
  • Bell peppers could be used but then we’re getting awfully close to jambalaya territory. Because I love both, I try to let the chicken bog have its own flavor and steer clear of traditional jambalaya ingredients. 
  • I use fresh garlic and onion because I always have them laying around. If you don’t, garlic power and onion powder are completely fine to use. I’d probably use 2 teaspoons of garlic power and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. 

If you like this recipe, you may also like my Southern-Style Crock Pot Chicken & Rice recipe. Check it out!

chicken. bog, pilau, perlo, pilaf, perloo, rice, southern, south carolina, lowcountry, low country, gullah, geechee, smoked sausage, kielbasa, andouille, big batch, for a crowd, how to, best, recipe, what is
dinner, supper, main dish
american, southern
Yield: 12-15 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Carolina Chicken Bog

Carolina Chicken Bog

A one-pot recipe of rice, chicken and smoked sausage cooked in a flavorful stock made from slow-cooked chicken. Includes bonus instructions for making a BIG BATCH with 6 cups of rice.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 10 M

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken (4-5 lbs)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 lbs smoked sausage
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups uncooked white rice

Instructions

  1. Add chicken, broth, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and bay leaf to a large pot or dutch oven.
  2. Roughly chop garlic cloves, onion and celery then add to the pot. 
  3. Cover pot then bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Once broth is bubbling, reduce heat to low then cook, covered, for 2-3 hours, or until legs and thighs are pulling apart from the body and the chicken is very tender.
  4. Remove chicken from broth; set aside to cool. Strain broth into a large bowl or pitcher, discarding veggies, bay leaf and any loose bones or skin; set broth aside.
  5. Once cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones from chicken then shred or cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Melt butter in the (now empty) pot then sauté sausage and red pepper flakes for 8-10 minutes or until sausage is browned.
  8. Add reserved broth (should be about 8 cups) to pot with the sausage then stir well to deglaze the pot.
  9. Taste broth for seasoning then add more if desired. Bring broth to a boil.
  10. Once boiling, add rice and chicken.
  11. Bring to a gentle boil then cover, reduce heat to low or medium-low (wherever your dial gives you a gentle simmer) then cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
  12. Stir rice once or twice with a fork to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot but don’t overwork the rice. Don’t stir the rice or open the lid the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  13. Remove from heat then let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can use other cuts of chicken. See NOTES section above the recipe.
  • Kielbasa or andouille can be substituted for the smoked sausage. 
  • If I'm out of celery or bay leaves, I don't make a special trip to the store for them. They're just used as aromatics to flavor the stock. Carrots can be added too. 
  • I use fresh garlic and onion because I always have them laying around. If you don’t, garlic power and onion powder are completely fine to use. Use 2 teaspoons of garlic power and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. 
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12 comments:

  1. I make a very similar dish but use onion/celery/pepper mix from the frozen section at the grocery store. I also use a can of cream of celery and a small can of tomato sauce. When it is almost ready, I add a little bit of roux to thicken the gravy.

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  2. Now Mandy, I love your recipes and when I saw this one I gave you a great big side-eye BECAUSE...I am from the birthplace of Chicken Bog, Loris SC. We have an entire festival for it, replete with a the pageant and the parade! That being said, the next time you make it, throw some hamhock in it and thank me later!

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    1. How in the WORLD have I lived in SC my whole life and not known about this?! I just looked at up and it's next weekend! I might try to get my behind up there! I will absolutely try it with a ham hock!

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  3. I'm from MN but have lived in North Myrtle Beach SC for 7 years now. I am a HUGE lover of Chicken Bog! I'm too lazy to make it myself, but there is a local place that makes it every Saturday as their daily special. I like it with a side of green beans, stewed yellow squash a hunk of corn bread and some sweet tea.

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  4. One of the few who write these food blogs have ever indicated the use or lack of use of tomatoes to distinguish between Creole and Cajon. There are always exceptions but you nailed it! Congrats I'm signing up for your regular reviews. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you!! I get prickly when people make declarations about regional dishes and don't know what they're talking about (usually in ALL CAPS and followed with exclamation marks!!! ironically) so I try to be very specific and respect the cuisine I'm referencing. Side note, there's a viral jambalaya recipe out there that is 100% NOT jambalaya (it doesn't even have rice in it) and because there are too many food bloggers out there copying popular recipes, it's been duplicated many times. Every time I see it I want to scream, THAT'S NOT JAMBALAYA YOU QUACKS!!

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    2. So true. I was born and raised in southern Louisiana and cringe when people call a dish cajun and I never heard of it in my life. There are a lot of difference between cajun and creole. I will eat both, but seasoning is very different. By the way, I love many of your recipes.

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    3. There is an official La. recipe from the State web site that I have never seen anyone duplicate in their food blogs. My wife and I had it in a diner in Baton Rouge about 7-8 years ago. It's called Shrimp Delicate and it's made with an envelope of dry pot roast or beef stew seasoning. Have you ever tried it or even heard of it? We make it all the time since being exposed to the recipe.

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    4. Sounds great! I bet the gravy/sauce is silky and rich! I'll find the recipe and make it - thank you!!

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    5. Hope you will be able to add your review one day soon.

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  5. So relieved when I saw your recipe! I've lived in Horry County, SC for a while now, where, as another poster mentioned, is the birthplace of Chicken Bog. I was horrified to see Southern Living's Chicken Bog recipe, which called for parmesan cheese and lemon juice! This recipe is spot on. Around here, it's almost always served with green beans and buttered white bread. I don't know why, it just IS, lol.

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  6. Oh, and the Loris Bog off is the 16th of this month, check it out!

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy