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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!
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).
Adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot. Chicken Bog is a great gluten-free alternative to the traditional Southern chicken and dumplings.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 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
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.
(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?