Saturday, September 24, 2011

Getting Bogged Down...In A Good Way!

Bogs are common throughout the country. Some areas have bogs where cranberries are harvested, others have bogs where spaghnum peat moss is produced. In fact, any low, wet area could be called a bog. In the South, however, there are only two kinds of bogs that interest us; mud bogs and chicken bogs. Since this is a cooking site, and you probably aren't interested in mud grips, winches, and tractor pulls, I'm gonna tell ya about a great Southern, one pot dish called Chicken Bog.

Chicken Bog is a great dish for weekend crowds, cookouts, camping trips, or taking to a friend layed up after surgery (which is why I made this pot). It's considered a stew by some, and is native to the Lowcountry and Pee Dee regions of South Carolina. Consisting of rice, spicy sausage, and tender chicken, it's a complete meal in a pot!

In addition, Chicken Bog is often used for fund raisers, and you'll be hard pressed to find a barbecue joint that doesn't offer it on the buffet. It's not only easy to make, but to make LOTS of. Just be sure to use a heavy bottomed stock pot so you don't burn it.

The defining factor for good chicken bog, is moist, greasy (hence the bacon) rice. While greasy hair may be a turnoff (unless you're an Alabama fan), greasy chicken bog is highly desireable, so be sure to err on the wet side when measuring your broth. Unlike rice pilaf or pilau, chicken bog should clump to your fork when eating.

HINT: If you're short on time, use a rotisserie chicken and low sodium broth from the store.

September is #ricelove month, so if you love rice, be sure to join this blog hop started by Junia at Mis Pensamientos!

Chicken Bog

1 (3-5lb) Chicken cut or shredded
1 lb Smoked, Polish, or Kielbasa Sausage cut in small pieces
8 Cups Chicken Broth
4 Cups Long Grain Rice
3 Slices bacon (raw) cut into pieces
1 Small Onion diced (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
(diced carrots & herbs of choice if making homemade broth)

Crushed Red Pepper or Sriracha when serving if you like it spiced up!

Pour broth into a large, heavy stock pot. Season to taste, then add rice and bring to a boil.
De-bone chicken and shred or cut into pieces.
Add chicken, sausage, onion,  and bacon to broth. Stir good, then turn burner to low, cover pot, and cook for 30 minutes or just until rice is tender.

Chicken Bog freezes great, so if you have a big stock pot, make a double batch and put some up for an easy meal when you're pressed for time!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jam Muffins

Well, I'm pretty sure I'll never have to ask if it's Monday again. By Saturday morning, I'm already getting the third degree about; 'What muffins are we having for Muffin Monday?'.  I think An over at Baker Street has created a muffin monster!   Luckily, it's a friendly monster with many heads, and you definitely want to be friends with it :) Be sure to check out all the great bakers participating here.

This weeks Jam Muffins reminded me of the donut muffins from a few weeks ago. They're a little sweeter than the recent choices, and call for a jam filling.  I split my filling between orange marmalade and apple butter, and the apple butter was my favorite (maybe because I pretended I was eating a fluffy buttermilk biscuit slathered with butter AND apple butter on top).

I liked the texture of these sweet muffins, and they domed up really nice as you can see :) Of course, streusel has become my trademark on Muffin Monday, and I get scolded if I leave it off. So, there ya go!

Jam Filled Muffins:


13/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup jam ( of your choice)


Preheat the oven to 400F

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk, butter and lemon rind.
Pour into the dry ingredients and the stir until moistened.
Spoon half batter, make a well, add jam, spoon the remaining batter and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Granola Muffins

It was a real bummer missing Muffin Monday last week, especially when I woke up Monday morning to delicious posts about cheese cake muffins! Seriously? I had to miss those? All I could hope for was that An, of Baker Street, would supply back to back awesome recipes to her Monday Bakers!

Well, she certainly didn't disappoint! As soon as I opened her email and saw Granola, I knew I was gonna like it.  I love granola, but since I never make or buy it for some unknown reason, this was a great chance to buy a little extra to snack on.  In her email, An billed this as a healthy muffin to balance last weeks more indulgent recipe. I grinned to myself as I thought; 'not when I get finished
with it' :)  Unless you're new to Cooke'd With Luv, you've probably figured out by now that I like my muffins on the sweeter side.

I didn't make any big changes, but I did tailor it slightly towards my family's tastes. I used; whole milk instead of that cloudy water they call low fat milk, dark raisins because I already had them, and honey flavored yogurt to enhance the honey already in the recipe. Lastly, because I've received overwhelming support and kudo's for my judicial use of it in baked goods, I topped them with a sinful mound of streusel!  My kind of healthy muffins!

I left two muffins plain, just so I could show pictures of the originals. They were delicious and moist, but the unanimous consensus was that streusel makes everything better!

With and without streusel. And, my handmade honey dipper :)

Be sure to visit Baker Street, and see what all the talented bakers have done with their Granola Muffins this week!

The recipe is by Martha Rose Shulman. It was posted on the NY Times site a couple of years ago.

Granola Muffins

1 cup granola
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large or extra large eggs
1/4 cup mild honey, such as clover
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:- Preheat the oven to 375ºF with a rack in the middle. Grease 12 muffin cups.
- In a bowl combine the granola and milk in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the   raisins with hot water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.
- Sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, buttermilk or yogurt, canola oil and vanilla. Quickly whisk in the flour, then fold in the granola and raisins. Combine well
- Spoon into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool on a rack.
Yield: 12 muffins

On a personal note: I only soak the raisins for about 5 mins. which is fine to 'condition' them, but doesn't leach the sugars out.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.