Today everyone in the University Communication office at CCU was treated to a wonderful treat for lunch. To coincide with our Vice President releasing the Communication and Marketing Strategic Plan, my co-workers and I were invited to pick up a copy of the report and then indulge in a truly Southern lunch.
Our Director of News and Public Affairs, Martha Hunn, completely outdid herself and prepared a feast consisting of chicken bog, sweet potatoes, collared greens, and cornbread. When I say feast I mean it in every sense of the word. Martha made enough food to feed probably the whole university rather than just a single department. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t have put “probably” in that last sentence because it is a fact. As the lunch started to wind down we had numerous people from different departments come in to fill up a plate with some warm food. By the time they had all dished up we still had leftovers left!
Now I know the question on most of your minds right now is “What is chicken bog?” Great question! To tell you the truth, I had no idea in the world what it was until I went for my onsite interview at CCU in March. No other than Martha told me about the magical combination of ingredients while we ate lunch that day. When I was hired and arrived on campus I kept expressing to her how much I wanted to try chicken bog. She continually assured me that she would make some for me and today was the day.
Chicken bog is a rice dish mixed with chicken, sausage, and spices. It is not just a Southern dish but a South Carolina dish. If you talk to Martha she will tell you exactly how it should be prepared. The chicken needs to be cooked a certain way and for a certain time before you add your rice. Not all “bogs” are created equal…except for people like me. My eyes light up when I hear about a dish that combines chicken, sausage, and rice so you can bet I will scarf down any version that ends up in front of me.
I enjoyed the cornbread and the collared greens (first time ever having them) but I was blown away by the sweet potatoes and chicken bog. The potatoes had a sweet pecan top layer that tasted like candy and gave new meaning to “sweet” potatoes. The smooth and flavorful potatoes would have tasted just splendidly without the pecan layer but the combination of those two things made for a dynamite dish.
The chicken bog proved to be everything and more that I had anticipated over the past several months. For such a seemingly simple dish it tasted so good. In the past I have had jambalaya and I would say that the taste was similar. But the jambalaya was nowhere near the quality of Martha’s chicken bog. It had such a perfect consistency and a taste that wasn’t overpowering yet pleasant in a way that you kept wanting to take bite after bite.
I am happy to say that I will be able to take bite after bite for a little while longer. I was fortunate enough to take home a plate. I am already looking forward to eating it. All I can say is that I hope we start releasing strategic plans more often than once a year. Don’t Blink.