Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chicken Bog

We  spent the weekend in Atlanta, to watch the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves  and cross off another major league stadium on my list. I have been pursuing this goal for about  7 years.  It's actually a  great way to see bits of the country that one might not ordinarily visit.  My husband and I have  been to Milwaukee (where the stadium looks like a spaceship direct from Uggla Minor getting ready to disgorge its fearsome burden of two-headed, slimy creatures.), Kansas City, where we watched a nine year old girl yell herself hoarse encouraging her hero, David DeJesus, and Seattle, where the team fired the manager the week after we were there.
Our visits always follow a pattern, baseball for me, historic homes and art museums for my husband.. Also dinner. This weekend was no exception. We got to Atlanta about 12 on Saturday, drove out to Buckhead, the famous uppercrust neighborhood that proves that some people with money have taste, even if the ones in the Washington suburbs don't. We visited the Atlanta History Center, ate lunch with the hatted ladies of  Buckhead, went through a  historic house that  was built  by an Atlanta captain of industry in the 1920s, and got to the game.  On Sunday, we had Sunday Night Supper at  JCT's, a stylishly spare eatery in West Atlanta, where we ate amazing southern food. I had fried chicken. Bob had pork loin, and we shared  ethereal grits in a cheese sauce, blackeyed peas, and wood roasted vegetables. It  gave me a new appreciation for what some would term greasy, overcooked food.
It all gave me a  desire to move on with the cookbook. It is not too easy to fit this food into the diet that I have  put together for myself. It's supposed to be an anti-inflamatory diet, based on chicken, fish, and green vegetables. I am supposed to avoid red meat, dairy products, potatoes ,tomatoes, wheat, sugar, and citrus fruits. I'm following this with mixed success. As long as school is in session, the chances of avoiding dairy products in the form of triple grande lattes are about nil. I don't eat cheese. I have cut out bread, pasta and baked goods.  I don't eat many potatoes and so far, I have cut out tomatoes as well, although when the fresh ones start showing up in the  markets, it will  be hard.
But between  my diet,  and  what my husband won't or can't eat, I feel like I'm walking a culinary fine line here. So anyway, chicken  bog was a  good choice because I can  eat  it  with out fudging. Bog seems to be a reference to the swampy consistancy of the rice. In order for this dish to achieve the status of t he most wonderful southern food ever cooked, it will need some tinkering.  As written the  recipe is somewhat bland. I would s uggest the  following :  Use packaged chicken broth, or  your own cooked for hours chicken broth. If  you boil a chicken in some water for an hour, what you get is very watery broth. The recipe does not call for seasoning, except for  salt and  pepper. I put in thyme   Do what  you will in this area.  You might try mixing in a little white wine with the broth. Use more broth than the recipe calls for and it w ill be more  boggy. It's kind of  like risotto with less work.                                                                                  

Chicken   Bog

1  f ive pound  to six pound hen, cut into small serving  pieces       
Chicken broth
4 cups uncooked rice 
2 tablespoons  salt 
 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper       
1/2 cup butter

1  .Place the hen pieces in a deep casserole and add water to cover. Bring to a  boil , cover  and simmer until tender,  about one hour.    
2. Reserve the chicken and measure the  broth in the casserole. Add enough  broth to make eight cups.  
3. Bring to a boil and add the rice , salt, pepper and  butter. Cook, covered, very slowl y  until rice is  te nder, about 45 minutes.stirring twice  during cooking.
4.    Add  reserved chicken and reheat.    
Makes one dozen to 14 servings.


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