Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chicken Bog

Despite the goofy name, Chicken Bog is one of the most solid recipes in my repertoire. It's the dish I make when I need something warm, comforting, and a lot of it.

Chicken Bog is a southeastern, lowlands dish, from what I can tell. At its heart, it's just chicken, rice and sausage. I love it for two main reasons:

A.) It's super easy. You don't even have to brown anything, just throw it all in a pot and let it simmer away.

B.) It makes enough to, as we say back home, "feed General Lee's army". In other words - it makes a lot. A whole lot. The main recipe basically fills my dutch oven. Bailey and I can eat off a pot of Chicken Bog for a week.

And sure, you can halve the recipe, but it keeps really well in the fridge. It's one of those things I make when I have a lot of people to feed, or when I need to have something easy and quick at hand. (It sure beats pizza when I'm busy prepping for a big meal like Thanksgiving.)

Here's the recipe:

Chicken Bog

3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound smoked link sausage (I use kielbasa), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 stick butter
Seasonings to taste - black pepper, seasoned salt, Cajun spices, etc.
3 bay leaves
8 cups water
3 cups rice

Put chicken, sausage, onion, butter, seasonings and bay leaves into a stock pot or dutch oven. Add the water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat until the water is at a low boil. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot; when cool enough to handle, shred into bite size pieces.

Note: I like to test the cooking liquid at this point for seasoning, before I put in the rice. Remember that you're seasoning a pot full of rice, so don't be timid here.

Add the rice to the pot and bring to a boil, then boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is done (remembering to give it an occasional stir) - about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and return the chicken to the pot.

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