Eugenia’s Chicken Bog

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 to 5 lb.) whole chicken
    Note: If you prefer, you could use 3 lbs. of chicken breasts, but the purists will bless your heart. You can even skip straight to step two below by using Costco rotisserie chicken if you want to, but Eugenia worries about the sodium and the phosphorous in store-bought cooked chicken.
  • 6 – 8 c. liquid, more or less depending on the bird, the pot, and the phase of the moon.
    Note: Historically, water is what was used. The results will be richer if you add some chicken broth or bone broth into the mix. The ratio is up to you, but if you’re using only chicken breasts, you’ll want to consider the bone broth. We’ll get precise with the liquid measurement later in the recipe.
  • What you give the chicken (or, Aromatics / Seasonings for the broth)
    Note: If you’re using mostly pre-made broth for your liquid, you could cut back on some of these if you like. Eugenia believes making a good broth is an art and we should all express ourselves.
    • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 2 ½ tsp. salt (not iodized)
    • 2 tsp. ground black pepper (fresh ground is best)
    • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
    • ½ tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
  • What you give the rice (or, vegetables, seasonings, et cetera for the rice)
    • 2 stalks celery, minced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced, more if you like
    • 1 ½ c. carrots, chopped small (Eugenia adds these. A lot of folks don’t. The purists likely bless Eugenia’s heart, but she is undaunted.)
    • 2 leeks, finely chopped, about ½ c. (This is Eugenia’s secret ingredient. See note above on the purists.)
    • ½ c. minced onion
  • 
2 lb. smoked beef sausage
    Note: You can use Kielbasa or Andouille or any other sausage you like.
  • ¼ c. unsalted butter (½ stick), divided by tablespoons
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes to taste (this might vary depending on your sausage choice)
  • 3 c. long grain white rice, rinsed
    Note: If you prefer to use a different type of rice, just be sure to adjust the liquid amount and cooking time if necessary. Also, the purists…
  • 9 c. reserved broth (from step one below or cartons from the grocery store if the purists don’t bother you and you’re short on time)
  • 1 large piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 – 3 oz. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Chopped parsley or scallions

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken and make the broth.
  2. Discard anything unsightly that came inside the chicken.
  3. Put the chicken in a large pot.
  4. Add broth / water mixture, roughly chopped celery, onion, and garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf.
  5. Make sure you have enough liquid to just cover the chicken.
  6. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Once it’s bubbly, reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken is very tender. The legs and thighs should pull apart easily at this point. Be careful not to boil. That will make the chicken tough and dry, and nobody likes tough dry chicken. For a whole chicken, this step should take 2 ½ -3 hours. If you’re using the breast only, it should be about 25 minutes. Check one of the larger pieces to make sure it’s as done as you like it.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, prep the remaining vegetables.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool.
  9. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, discarding all the vegetables, skin, bones, et cetera.
  10. Taste the broth now, before it cools, and determine if you’re going to want more salt and / or black pepper.
  11. When the chicken is cool enough, shred it. Discard skin, bones, anything unsightly.
  12. Mince the celery, garlic, and onion.
  13. Chop the carrots.
  14. Rinse the leeks, then cut off the bottom root end. Remove the tough, darker green portion of the leaves, leaving only the pale green and white portion. Quarter these. Wash thoroughly, separating all the layers. Leeks are notorious for trapping dirt and sand between their layers.
  15. Thinly slice the leek quarters.
  16. Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces.
  17. Melt a tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
  18. Brown the sausage in the skillet, about 7 – 10 minutes, adding the red pepper flakes a minute or two in.
  19. Deglaze the pan with one cup of the reserved broth.
  20. Remove the pan from the heat.
  21. Add 3 tablespoons butter to a large pot or Dutch oven.
  22. Add prepared celery, carrots, onion, and leeks.
  23. Cook until vegetables start to brown, about 7- 9 minutes.
  24. Add garlic and cook and stir about a minute.
  25. Add olive oil and stir.
  26. Add the rice, toasting in the pot until coated and golden, about 4 minutes. Add additional olive oil or butter if necessary to coat the rice.
  27. Add remaining reserved broth and deglaze.
  28. Add the sausage to the Dutch oven, scraping the pan well.
  29. Add additional salt and black pepper if needed, to taste.
  30. Add the Parmesan rind to the pot.
  31. Bring to a boil then cover. Reduce heat to low / medium-low to gently simmer.
  32. Cook until rice is tender, 18 – 20 minutes. This may vary depending on the specific rice used.
  33. Remove rind, stir in chicken.
  34. Cover, remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  35. As you serve, sprinkle with lemon juice, top with parmesan cheese and scallions.

Enjoy!