Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Chicken Bog!

Our favorite family vacation spot was Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  What we loved about that area was not just the beautiful beach, but the culture and history of the coastal region.  We’d go south as far as Savannah, Georgia and north as far as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  

We’d eat our way from place to place, always searching for the favorite local cuisine!  Today, I’m sharing a favorite recipe from that area!  Chicken Perlou (spelled a few different ways) is also known as Chicken Bog.  I make mine a little differently than the many recipes I’ve seen, because I love a whole roasted chicken.  The flavors are better, and the presentation is much nicer.  I think!

Begin by stuffing a whole chicken with a quarter of an onion, a couple sticks of celery, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf.  Sprinkle the bird with lots of pepper and a smidgen of salt.  Make a rack in your roasting pan by laying sticks of celery across the pan so you can set your chicken on them.  They will lift the chicken from boiling in its juices.  Lay sections of the rest of your onion around the chicken and begin roasting at 350 degrees.  A three-pound chicken should take about an hour and a half to finish.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare your favorite variety of rice.  I use Cahokia Brown rice. I cook the rice about ¾ the way done, then simply add it to the roasting pan.  There should be enough broth from the chicken to allow the rice to finishing cooking.  If you think you need more, just add a little water.  At this point, I also add chopped sweet red peppers and smoked sausages.  Let it cook about 30 more minutes.   On this occasion, in the last 30 minutes of cooking, I also added chopped red beet leaves.  They were stunning and I knew they would add beautiful color and flavor.

The presentation of this recipe is beautiful, and the flavors are incredible.  You are probably wondering why I didn’t add herbs or spices to the rice combination.  The flavors come from the broth and the broth is flavored with everything added to the roasting pan!

Simple and delicious!

It is important to note that the foodways of this coastal region are deeply influenced by the Gullah population.  I encourage you to study their history, if you don’t know about them.  I always loved the fact that their ways of cooking were very much like my own, which was heavily influenced by my own German and Scottish background!  My Southern Illinois has been populated by people who came from the Carolinas through Tennessee into Illinois.  We are very much the same people! 

I’m including this recipe in my 2020 Vintage Vegetable food posts, because of the use of the beet greens. Greens don’t have to be cooked and served as a side dish.  It is so easy to add them to many other combinations.  Red beets are believed to have been grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon.  For hundreds of years, humans only ate the greens and not the red roots! The greens are known to be filled with nutrients that make us healthy, so adding them to a meal is a smart thing!

I'll be sharing this post with a couple blog parties, so make sure you check my sidebar and click through to see the party goers!

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