Chicken Bog {Secret Recipe Club}

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Chicken Bog

This month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal also ended up being a culinary lesson for me.  Let me introduce you to Chicken Bog, also known as Chicken Pilau or Chicken Perloo or Chicken Perleau.

Here’s what America’s Test Kitchen has to say about it.

Perloo … traces its roots back to 7th-century Persia. From Persia it spread throughout the Middle East (pullao), Turkey (piliaf), to Southern Europe (Spanish paella) and parts of Africa. With each stop on the map, slight tweaks or changes were made. During the Crusades, the technique made its way to France, namely Provence, where it was known as pilau. The French Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution, traveled from France and settled in coastal South Carolina. They soon tailored their cooking techniques and ingredient lists to take advantage of the abundance around them.

 

Chicken Perleau/Bog is regional now to Lowcountry South Carolina, where there are even competitions much like we have chili cook-offs around here.

Even though my husband is from South Carolina, he had never heard of or had Chicken Bog; he is from the upstate. So it was a first for both of us! We served this down-home dish to my sister and her fiance as well as our kids, and everyone seemed to like it!

My assigned SRC blog where I found this dish was The Saturday Evening Pot, a blog written by husband-wife team John and Anne. John is a chef, so to see a foodie blog through that filter was fun! John and Anne share recipes as well as posts about marriage, family, food in general, and their Christian faith. I loved the series of recipes they did imagining the Wedding Feast in heaven!

Chef John is from Charleston, South Carolina, and says he grew up with Chicken Bog on the table. Thanks for the recipe, Chef!

chicken bog with kielbasa

From what I understood from the great debate I found online, people say Chicken Pila/Perloo/Perleau is called that because it’s more like a rice pilaf – the rice is more dry. Chicken Bog is when the rice is more wet, like in this method. If you want a fluffier rice, you’ll have to measure the liquid out before you add the rice to your normal cooking measurements (1:2 ratio of rice to liquid for brown rice).

Chicken Bog

Yield: 6 servings

Adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot. Chicken Bog is a great gluten-free alternative to the traditional Southern chicken and dumplings.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins, or a handful of baby carrots, halved
  • 1 c. brown rice

Instructions

Place chicken pieces in a large stockpot. Cover with water and stir in a good sprinkle each of salt and garlic powder. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook about 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Remove chicken pieces with tongs to a plate.

Bring liquid back to a boil and add sausage pieces, carrots, and rice. Reduce to about medium, to a strong simmer.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, pick meat off the bones. Add meat to the pot.

Simmer on low until rice is done. If you have time, you can cover and cook an additional hour or more, stirring occasionally, to let rice absorb all the liquid.

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(That bog in the pictures I had to set aside so I would have some left to take a picture! Almost all of it got scarfed down.)

Have you ever had a Chicken Bog or Perleau?


{A Little Boozy} Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

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Boozy Chocolate & Butterscotch Cookies

I feel like I could set a world record for starting recipes that I don’t actually have the ingredients for. I feel like it happens a lot.

I set out to make Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Cookies from Magnolia Days today. So I get out the chocolate chips and realize I don’t have any butter. This almost never happens. (Except apparently I’ve been on a baking binge lately, as I see my last two recipes are desserts, too!) I’d already dragged my two boys to Target today, but we hit up Bi-Lo for butter and a few other little things.

So I start again. I melt the butter and chocolate. I mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. And then, you know what? I don’t have any pecans.

Butterscotch Schnapps Cookies

But what is the kitchen for if not creativity? (And, well, basic sustenance.) I decided if we were going to have nut-free cookies I would jazz them up with Butterscotch Schnapps instead of the supercheap bourbon I happened to have a tiny bit of left after making homemade vanilla. I am guessing these would be really good with some chopped-up toasted almonds in them, too. Or with two cookies sandwiching some butter pecan ice cream. Yummm.

If you don’t want to use alcohol, you could substitute butterscotch syrup, the kind you make lattes with. (Butterscotch lattes are my FAVORITE, by the way. If you ever want to buy me a Starbucks.)

{A Little Boozy} Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Yield: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies

{A Little Boozy} Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Adapted from Magnolia Days

Ingredients

  • 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Put chocolate chips and butter, cut into pieces, in a large measuring cup. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until completely smooth. Let sit 10 minutes to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together brown sugar, eggs, butterscotch schnapps, and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and mix until uniform. Add dry ingredients and mix on lowest speed until combined. Scrape sides and stir. Let batter sit 5-10 minutes to set up slightly.

Use a cookie scoop or large spoon to scoop batter onto cookie sheets. (You want 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons per cookie. I used a small cookie scoop.) Space cookies 2 inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until tops are crackled and edges of cookies are set. Let cool on cookie sheets at least 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

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Do you have any favorite happy accidents in the kitchen?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you know that there are places in the world that just don’t do chocolate and peanut butter together?

I know. It’s so sad.

(On this side of the world, my father-in-law also believes the two ne’er shall meet. I just don’t get it, dude.)

I am glad most people around these parts appreciate the magical duo. (These Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting got SCARFED down by the dorm boys, y’all. Have I mentioned that they were incredibly good?)

Sorry, I got sidetracked thinking about that yummyness. This month I came really close to backing out of my Secret Recipe Club reveal. I left it until kind of late, and then I came down with strep throat. And I was a feverish, icky mess!

But then I went back and looked and saw my assigned blog was Sweet as Sugar Cookies. Like me, Lisa’s been in the Club since its inception. I couldn’t NOT make something from her blog! Also like me, Lisa is mostly a baker. Her blog is full of delicious muffins, pastries, cakes, bars, cookies, and any other kind of sweet you can think of.

I actually made Lisa’s Strawberry Lemonade muffins first. They were incredibly delicious, but I didn’t feel like mine turned out very picturesque. So I had to make these cookies instead. It’s a tough life.

IMG_4024

These brownie-like cookies have chocolate and peanut butter, and then some more chocolate and peanut butter thrown in with the Reese’s pieces. I had those on hand, but using peanut butter M&Ms like Lisa did sounds divine as well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Slightly adapted from Sweet as Sugar Cookies, these cookies are rich as brownies and enhanced by peanut butter in the batter as well as the candies.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. mini or regular Reese's pieces, or peanut butter M&Ms

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Using a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. On low speed, add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix until uniform, scraping the sides of the bowl.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir or mix on low until incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Fold in candies.

Scoop by rounded spoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) onto lined baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-11 minutes. They will still be soft in the middle but crisper on the edges. Let cool on sheets for a few minutes before moving to cooling racks.

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Do you like chocolate and peanut butter together?


Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting via jessieweaver.net

When I’ve had a long day … I bake. The best part about being on-campus, in a dorm full of high-school boys, has been the ability to bake without having to eat all the end results. I bake, and then I let Mr. V take the goodies down to the dorm boys. They are happy. I am happy because my kids aren’t asking for cookies every three minutes. My belly is happy because I don’t gain 300 more pounds.

These cupcakes were last night’s creation, inspired by a bunch of ripe bananas on the counter. The rest will go in the freezer for smoothies, but I used two bananas making this awesome cake. I might maybe have been eating the little leftover batter with a spoon. I just love peanut butter and bananas together, so I went for that combo. And with chocolate? A total winner.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting via jessieweaver.net

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24-32 cupcakes

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

This wonderful chocolate banana cake recipe comes from Joy of Baking. You can also make it in a 9x13 pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Together with the peanut butter frosting, these cupcakes are the perfect balance of sweet, salty, rich, and light.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. flavorless oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 c. powdered sugar
  • Optional
  • chopped peanut butter cups

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with liners - I use silicone ones. Spray liners with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ones and stir until well incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. (I made 30 cupcakes with a little batter left over, but the silicone cups make pretty small cupcakes.) Reduce oven heat to 325.

Bake about 22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool.

For the frosting.

With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat about 2 minutes, scraping the sides. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups if desired.

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What’s your favorite recipe for using up ripe bananas?

Crumby Banana Muffins

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banana muffins

I’m trying to start the morning out right. I’ve done my Bible study, savoring the last week of A Woman’s Heart during this Holy Week. I’ve thrown a load of laundry in the washer, started the coffee, and shoved in my contacts, thrown on yoga pants. (It’s an at-home day. I’ll change later … this afternoon.)

I know the first words out of their mouths every morning – “Mommy, I’m hungry! Can I have somefing to eat?” If I’m lucky, I’ll have ‘somefing’ ready before Libbie starts looting in the pantry and decides she will eat pretzels for breakfast.

Before they even woke this morning (albeit wiped out from travel, they slept a little late … and by that I mean until 7:20), I started muffins. Trying to beat them at their own game. Trying to be Mother.

I’ve had a kind of abysmal parenting day so far. But at least I gave them muffins. And they were good.

Crumby Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Crumby Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Make streusel topping in a bowl. With a fork mix together 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and cinnamon until well-combined. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until it is coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together; add banana and mash together.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Divide among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 T of streusel.

Bake about 20-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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S’mores Cookie Cups {Secret Recipe Club}

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S'Mores Cookie Cups

Welcome to this month’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club. Did you know I’ve been making recipes with the SRC since June 2011, almost three years ago? I’ve only missed one month in all that time, too! You can see all my Secret Recipe Club reveals here. (I just browsed back through my last few and oh man … I totally want Oxtail Stew again.)

My assigned blog for this month was Things I Make (for Dinner). This is only Sarah’s second month in the SRC. Welcome to the party, Sarah! Hope you’re enjoying it!

Sarah is a married woman, enjoying life with her husband in Ontario, Canada. She loves to cook in what little time she has and shared recipes from many different sources – but especially loves Everyday Food, from what I could tell on her site!

smores cups

 

I needed a dessert recipe for an Easter celebration at church, so I made these S’Mores Cookies, but with my own little twist on them. I was having a harder time getting my dough to stick together, so I shoved it into mini-muffin cups and stuck the chocolate inside. I didn’t use enough chocolate, though – so use bigger chocolate chips or a more generous portion than shown here. I’ll admit I had a late start this month so I didn’t get a chance to re-make the recipe like I would have liked to.

Mr. V tested these warm from the oven, though, and really liked them. With the addition of a little more chocolate (my fault totally, not Sarah’s!) they will be perfect party bites! Or go ahead and make the cookies as Sarah shows on her site.

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: about 36 mini-muffin cups

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • about 1/2 c. chocolate chips or chunks
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut into thirds with kitchen shears

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pulse oats in a food processor until they are fine. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to mix.

With a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until yellow and fluffy. Add egg and beat, scraping sides. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, until combined. You may need to mix by hand for a few minutes to get the batter to come together. It will be very thick.

Spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. (I love my silicone muffin pan!) Drop about 1 Tablespoon of dough into each muffin cup. Press it down into the cup; then make a deep indention with your finger. Sprinkle chocolate chips or chunks into the indention.

Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes, until tops begin to brown.

Turn oven to broil.

Top each muffin cup with one-third of a marshmallow. Broil until lightly brown - watching constantly. This only took about 45 seconds for me.

Let cool in pan at least 5 minutes, then remove to a rack. Best eaten warm!

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