South Carolina has a lot of legendary food traditions that as part of our heritage as a poorer, agricultural area with lots of people who lived off of what they had and used every scrap of it. These are the dishes that are the best loved, because they are the comforts of what a little ingenuity can do in the face of hard times. One such recipe that is distinctly South Carolinian is chicken bog, a dish that comes from throwing the leftover meat from the week in with some seasoning and pouring it over a bed of rice. Rice is a staple in our diet, like many cultures around the world, and SC used to be a big rice growing area of the country.
Of course, most of these Southern food traditions include meat, and that’s where I often don’t get to enjoy them. Having never tasted chicken bog, I set out to adapt a Paula Deen recipe to use my favorite meat substitutes to create a version of chickenless bog that tastes pretty traditional, even if it totally goes against the make-do roots of the meal since faux meat ain’t always the least expensive option.
Vegetarian Chicken Bog
- 3 pieces of Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
- 2 links of Tofurky kielbasa sausages, cut into 1/2 ” thick rounds
- teaspoon of olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt such as Lawry’s or Beautiful Briny Sea Magic Unicorn salt
- 1 shake red pepper chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 2 Not Chick’n bouillon cubes
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1/2 cup water
- Put the butter, seasonings, vegetable stock, and bouillon cubes in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Saute the chick’n in a half teaspoon of olive oil for two to three minutes per side. Set aside when done.
- When the rice boils, lower the heat to medium and simmer while covered for 10 minutes.
- Saute the Tofurky sausage chunks in the same pan as the chick’n, adding the remaining oil.
- Add the onion, and additional 1/2 cup of water if needed, to the pot of rice. Stir to fluff, and cover for three more minutes or until water has mostly boiled out.
- While the rice is finishing, chop the chicken into very small chunks, then add to rice.
- Add the sausage and stir to integrate. Remove bay leaves and serve hot.