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It might have a funny name, but Chicken Bog is a classic Southern comfort food that stands the test of time. Like a cross between chicken-rice soup and risotto, this cozy combination of chicken, smoked sausage, and rice is a flavorful dish that’s been loved for generations.

Chicken bog in a white dutch oven with fresh parsley on top

Chicken Bog Origin

If you’re not from the Southeastern United States, it’s very likely that you’ve never even heard of this dish. Chicken Bog originated in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region, which includes the towns of Florence, Conway and Loris. Closely related to Chicken Perlo, Chicken Pilaf, Chicken Pirlau, Chicken Pilau, or Chicken Perlou, Chicken Bog is a Lowcountry tradition that dates back to the enslaved Africans who worked the rice plantations.

The dish was typically cooked outdoors in large quantities, slowly simmering and building complex flavors over hours of gentle stewing.

What is Chicken Bog?

So what exactly is Chicken Bog? This one-pot meal is a combination of chicken, smoked sausage, and rice. It’s named for its consistency, in which large pieces of meat are “bogged down” in the rich rice. The rice simmers in the homemade stock, releasing starches and giving the dish a slightly creamy texture. That’s right — there’s actually no milk or cream in this thick and creamy chicken bog!

Front shot of chicken bog served in a blue ceramic bowl

How to Make Chicken Bog

Chicken bog tastes a lot like chicken-rice soup (thanks to the chicken, rice, broth, celery and onion), but it’s not soupy. The dish is infused with the rich, smoky flavor of sausage for a simple-yet-complex meal. Whip up a big pot for your next low country chicken boil — just like Southerners have enjoyed for centuries!

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Whole chicken
  • Kielbasa (or other smoked sausage)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Long-grain white rice

Step 1: Cook Chicken

Simmer the chicken in water with the sautéed onion and celery, as well as the sausage and seasonings. It’s done when the meat is falling off of the bones (this typically takes about 60-90 minutes for a very large chicken).

Process shot of making chicken bog in a dutch oven

Step 2: Shred Meat

Remove the chicken from the pot, shred or chop the meat, and discard the skin and bones.

Shredded chicken in a metal mixing bowl

Step 3: Boil Rice

While you shred the chicken, bring the reserved broth to a boil, stir in the rice, cover the pot and let the rice simmer over low heat for about 20-30 minutes (or until the rice is tender). The rice absorbs most of the broth and the starches thicken the stock, giving it a rich, creamy consistency.

Adding rice to broth in a white dutch oven

Step 4: Return Chicken

Add the chicken back to the pot, give everything a good stir, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve!

Close up side shot of a white dutch oven full of chicken bog with smoked sausage

What goes with Chicken Bog?

Serve the cozy one-pot meal with any of these easy sides:

Storage

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can freeze extra Chicken Bog for a later meal, too! Allow the dish to cool completely, store in airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat

Thaw frozen Chicken Bog in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, transfer the chicken and rice mixture to a pot on the stovetop. Warm over low heat, covered, until it reaches the desired consistency, stirring frequently. The mixture thickens significantly as it sits, so you will need to stir in additional broth (I just use chicken broth from a can), to thin the rice as it warms.

Side shot of chicken bog in a white dutch oven

Variations

  • Smaller Batch: This recipe yields a large pot of Bog. If you don’t want to have too many leftovers, you can make a smaller batch instead. To do so, cut all of the ingredients in half. Instead of using a whole large chicken, use about 2½ – 3 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (such as thighs or breasts, whatever you prefer). You can reduce the simmering time for the chicken to 40-45 minutes.
  • Cajun Chicken Bog Recipe: use andouille sausage instead of kielbasa; add plenty of Cajun or Creole seasoning to the broth, and serve with a side of hot sauce!
  • Smaller Chicken: This recipe calls for a large chicken that weighs between 5 ½ and 6 pounds. If you prefer to use a smaller chicken that weighs between 3 and 4 pounds, you will need to decrease the simmering time to 40-45 minutes. I also recommend increasing the rice to 3 cups, since you will have less chicken in the bog.
  • Vegetables and Herbs: Feel free to season your broth with other vegetables and herbs. Some recipes call for diced carrots or tomatoes, some add minced garlic, and others utilize additional herbs such as parsley or rosemary.
  • Don’t have seasoned salt? You can substitute with regular salt, or you can add other spices that are included in the seasoned salt, such as garlic and paprika.
Close up overhead shot of a wooden spoon stirring a pot of chicken bog

More chicken recipes that you might enjoy:

Chicken bog in a white dutch oven with fresh parsley on top

Chicken Bog

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 55 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 454 kcal
You'll love the flavorful combination of chicken, rice and smoked sausage in this classic Southern comfort food!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 large whole chicken, gizzards removed (about 5 ½ – 6 lbs.)
  • 13 ounces kielbasa (or other smoked sausage), cut into ½ -inch thick rounds
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s brand)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or about ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ½ cups long-grain white rice
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a stockpot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chicken, sausage, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1-1 ½ hours (or until the meat falls of the bones).
  • Remove the chicken, reserving the broth. Pull the meat off of the chicken; discard the skin and bones. Meanwhile, bring the pot of broth to a boil. Stir in the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the chicken into the pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley; serve.

Notes

  • Smaller Batch: This recipe yields a large pot of bog. If you don’t want to have too many leftovers, you can make a smaller batch instead. To do so, cut all of the ingredients in half. Instead of using a whole large chicken, use about 2½ – 3 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (such as thighs or breasts, whatever you prefer). You can reduce the simmering time for the chicken to 40-45 minutes.
  • Cajun Chicken Bog Recipe: use andouille sausage instead of kielbasa; add plenty of Cajun or Creole seasoning to the broth, and serve with a side of hot sauce!
  • Smaller Chicken: This recipe calls for a large chicken that weighs between 5 ½ and 6 pounds. If you prefer to use a smaller chicken that weighs between 3 and 4 pounds, you will need to decrease the simmering time to 40-45 minutes. I also recommend increasing the rice to 3 cups, since you will have less chicken meat in the bog.
  • Vegetables and Herbs: Feel free to season your broth with other vegetables and herbs. Some recipes call for diced carrots or tomatoes, some add minced garlic, and others utilize additional herbs such as parsley or rosemary.
  • Don’t have seasoned salt? You can substitute with regular salt, or you can add other spices that are included in the seasoned salt, such as garlic and paprika.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/10 of the recipeCalories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 26gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 888mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 193IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: chicken bog
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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