Chicken Bog (Cody McLellan)

Chicken Bog

The South Carolina Lowcountry has a long history with the production and consumption of rice. During the 18th century, rice cultivation expanded greatly in the tidal swamps and marshes of the South Carolina coast. South Carolina was the largest exporter/producer of rice in the nation up until the Civil War. Gold Coast Africans enslaved, especially for their knowledge of rice cultivation, were brought to South Carolina. The enslaved laborers who cleared fields in the Lowcountry applied their knowledge of tidal rice cultivation produced what was known as Carolina Golden Rice. Carolina Gold is not named for its color but named for the profits made from its cultivation. The abundance of rice production radiated from its epicenter of Georgetown, SC, which was the largest single port for rice exports at the time. With rice plentiful in South Carolina, it became a staple of local food traditions that survive even to this day. 

Today, a survivor of the rice-filled history of South Carolina is Chicken Bog. This rice based dish came from the blending of European and African cultures in the Lowcountry. Chicken Bog is popular and widely known throughout Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Florence, and Dillion County, South Carolina. The dish is closely related to what is commonly known as chicken perlo. What makes Chicken Bog different than Chicken Perlo? Chicken bog must be prepared with a few basic ingredients; chicken, smoked sausage, rice (yellow and/or white,) salt, pepper, and onions. Chicken bog is easily prepared, as long as you have a basic talent for cooking rice. To start a Chicken Bog dish you first have to prepare the stock. The stock is made by slowly boiling the chicken, along with, onions and preferred seasoning. Once the chicken has fully cooked it is deboned and chopped into smaller pieces. Most often the larger pieces of onions and seasoning (like garlic cloves) are removed from the stock. Finally, the chicken pieces, sliced sausage, and rice are added to the pot, along with the prepared stock, and cooked until done.  

Chicken Bog has been around in various forms since the colonial era. Upon a visit to Middleton Place, I was surprised to see a letter from a guest at the Middleton Plantation asking them to retrieve their enslaved cook’s rice and sausage perlo recipe. Growing up in South Carolina, much of my direct family was from Marion and Dillion County, Chicken Bog was often a staple on the dinner table. The dish is so common in the area that local gatherings and sporting events often have Chicken Bog on the menu. Since living on my own, I have been perfecting my variation of Chicken Bog and honoring local traditions along the way by sharing it with friends. Here is the first recipe I used to make Chicken Bog so that you can try this authentic South Carolina staple in your home.

Chicken Bog


(Recipe courtesy of the Loris Chamber of Commerce)

6 cups of water

1 tablespoon of salt

1 onion, chopped

1 (3-pound) whole chicken (I use boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets)

1 cup of long-grain white rice (I prefer Carolina Gold Yellow Rice)

1/2-pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced (I use Kiabasa or Carolina Pride Smoked Sausage)

2 tablespoons of Italian-style seasonings (I use Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Old Bay, and various other seasonings, as well)

2 cubes of chicken bouillon (I use chicken bouillon or chicken stock/broth)

Place water, salt, and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring all to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite-size pieces. Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning, and bouillon to this saucepan. Cook all together for 30 minutes; let come to a boil and then reduce heat to low, keeping the pan covered the whole time. If the mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.

By Cody McLellan

Southern Spaces (Jenna Stern and Cody McLellan)

Southern Spaces Recommends - Southern Spaces

Southern Spaces is a user friendly, online-only journal, with a variety of interesting articles. When you first go to the website, it can look overwhelming at first; all of the recent articles are put on the homepage and there are so many pictures. However, there are a few buttons that make the journal easier to use. Underneath the title section, there are nine broad categories, like interviews, blogs, or articles, you can click on and visit. These are pages more generally categorized based on type of writing and not subject . Under the browse section, there are almost sixty specific topics, like foodways, African American Art, and religious studies, to choose from. By clicking on one of these, you are taken to a page dedicated to all types of writing on one of those topics. 

The articles on this journal are different in their own unique way and utilize new technologies to enhance them. Many of the articles have videos, pictures, or helpful links embedded in them, which makes the journal more engaging. You definitely don’t get bored reading the lengthy articles. Not only are these articles full of these technological resources, but they are interesting and pertinent to current events. One recent blog was about a new Supreme Court Case which went back on Brown vs. Board of Education. The blog was clearly written and provided necessary background information to understand how the case is currently affecting schools. Other articles have focused on music in the twentieth century and help people compare and contrast music from two time periods. Overall, the articles are very interesting to read.

Southern Spaces is a unique journal for everyone. The content is not so scholarly that it turns everyday readers away, but it is not too basic that you don’t feel challenged. Southern Spaces aims at reaching people of all educational backgrounds, whether teachers or even high school students, they want everyone to learn. In addition, there are so many topics that you are bound to find something interesting. It is also unique that anyone can contribute to it, without having to give up rights to their work. But first, scholars have to go through and review the essays before publication. I think this provides so many people the chance to contribute to this journal.

Southern Spaces is a digital publication, and as a group endorses their utilization of the internet, since it allows them to share their magazine’s material through multimedia (audio, video, images, and articles.) The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship funds the operation of Southern Spaces. So, because the funding source for Southern Spaces is Emory University, their base of operation is in Atlanta, Georgia, on the Emory University Campus. Everyone on the magazine editing staff is an employee of Emory University. Many of them function either out of the Robert W. Woodruff Library or the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship. Most, if not all, the staff are published scholars on various subjects in Southern Studies. The diversified background of the editorial staff allows for the magazine to include a wide array of topics and media. 

Southern Spaces started as an online publication in 2004, with the same mission statement that drives its content today. The placement of the U.S. South in the greater context of the world through the use of; articles, interviews, monographs, presentations, and more. In their first year as an online publication, Southern Spaces had mainly articles composed by university professors. Southern Spaces self identifies as a magazine that caters to the educational and non-educational communities alike. Their materials come from published doctoral professors as well as journalists, artists, and geographers. They claim to gear much of their material towards serving marginalized groups in the South, often focused on shedding light on the falsehoods of a monolithic South. 

Southern Spaces - A journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections

Jenna Stern and Cody McLellan


Professor Sandy Slater

Dr. Sandy Slater is one of the College of Charleston’s premier history professors, who specializes in the study and research of race, gender, and sexuality, all in the context of the Colonial Era Atlantic.
Dr. Slater was born in Turkey Creek, Pike County, Kentucky. Ever since she was young, Dr.Slater has loved history, so much so that on her childhood desk, she had a photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Growing up in Kentucky, her family taught her what it means to work hard. Her father had a large role in teaching her this lesson. As a coal miner, he worked long hours to provide what his family needed. Dr. Slater, instilled with her families’ hard-working spirit, enrolled in Lincoln Memorial Univerisity. In her time at Lincoln, she double majored in American Studies and History, while simultaneously minoring in music and English. After receiving her undergraduate degree in 2003, Dr. Slater set her sights on a Masters and Ph.D. from Kentucky University. At Kentucky University, she studied History as well as Women and Gender Studies.
Immediately out of Graduate School in 2009, Dr. Slater started teaching at the College of Charleston. She began teaching her first courses, History of Colonial Americans History and American Sexualities. Now in 2020, a tenured professor Dr. Slater is the Director of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, a History Department Senator, and a History Department Internship Adviser. Dr. Slater also holds positions as Chair of the Committee on Graduate Education and resides on the Board of Directors for Consortium of the Revolutionary Era. Dr. Slater has added multiple new classes into her repertoire since starting here at the College. These classes taught by Dr. Slater include the History of the American Revolution, Queer America, and American Women. Soon she hopes to add the History of Appalachia to her growing list of classes provided to our campus community.
Dr. Slater is one of the Professors here at the College that supports our Southern Studies Program through her position in the CofC History Department.