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Scarlett’s Chicken and Rice

Scarlett’s Chicken and Rice 8.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Book Report Nov 7, 2016

Also called a “bog” in some parts of the South, this dish spans the gap between a soup and a stew. It’s great as is, but it's also a canvas for whatever vegetables or herbs you might like to add. The recipe comes from chef Vivian Howard's mother, Scarlett.

If you’re buying chicken at the grocery store, it will be a young bird. But chef Vivian Howard says an older “stewing” chicken will make for a tastier broth; be advised that the latter will take much longer to cook and will render much more fat.

Make Ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Where to Buy: Ask for older/stewing chickens at a butcher shop or an Amish market.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes about 4 quarts

  • 1 large chicken (5 pounds; see headnote)
  • Water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, or more as needed
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice (do not rinse)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Place your bird breast side up in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven. Barely cover with cool water, then add the salt and pepper (both to taste). Cover, and cook over medium heat until the chicken is falling-apart tender. (A young bird will take about 90 minutes; an old/stewing bird could take as long as 5 hours.) Turn off the heat; let the chicken rest for 30 minutes.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, tear the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Skim the fat from the broth and discard it.

Return the meat to the pot over medium heat. Once the broth is bubbling, stir in the rice. Cook uncovered for about 12 minutes or just until the rice is tender. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the lemon juice; taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as needed. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes From My Corner of the South,” by Vivian Howard (Little Brown, 2016).

Tested by Jane Black.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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