Chicken Bog

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From A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson

HMD seeks FWR.

Hearty meat dish seeks fluffy white rice.

I don’t think it’s just a crush. Chicken stews love rice. It’s an affinity that needs to happen. Let’s not sully the relationship with overly complex rice. Simply steamed rice is the key. The trick is to develop flavor with the initial browning of the meat and then add the stock slowly to encourage the stock to cook down and concentrate the flavor.

This recipe calls for a chicken with giblets, which until recently was the only way you could get a chicken. Sometime in the last decade the colonels of the chicken industry decided that we didn’t deserve the giblets anymore because most of the buyers were ignorant to the goodness of the liver, neck, heart, and gizzards. Not us, though. Those little innard gems provide the flavor we need for this wonderful dish.

When we butcher chicken, sometimes we neglect two glorious morsels of dark meat on the back side of the bird, right behind the thigh joint. The oysters, as they are known, are a prized little bite and shouldn’t be left to the stock bones.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 chicken, cut into breasts, drumsticks, oysters, and thighs, skin removed
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
½ cup finely chopped mixed giblets
1 bay leaf
1 leek, white and light green part, cleaned and diced (½ cup)
½ cup diced yellow onion
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock reduced to 2 cups
1 cup beef stock
1 large ripe tomato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large, wide 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken breasts, drumsticks, oysters, and thighs evenly, about 3 minutes on each side, removing them to a platter when they are nicely browned.

2. To the pot, add the sausage and the giblets and cook until well browned. Remove to the platter. Discard all but a tablespoon of the cooking oil and add the bay leaf, leeks, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme. When the onions have just turned translucent, add the red wine and reduce until almost dry.

3. Add reduced chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the reserved chicken and sausage-giblet mixture, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is just done, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot, pull the meat from the bones and return it to the pot along with the beef stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring all the while to break the chicken into threads. Stir in the tomato and parsley. Discard the bay leaf. Season with the salt. Serve with rice!

Serves 4.

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